Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Trump v Clinton: Locals react

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Dawn Dromgool watching the US presidential debate in her home near Katikati. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK
Dawn Dromgool watching the US presidential debate in her home near Katikati. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK

Most locals are happy they are living in New Zealand and not faced with the Trump or Clinton decision.

The Bay of Plenty Times hit the streets to carry out an unofficial poll on the day of the first US presidential debate, today.

Out of 30 people asked, 17 said they would not vote for either candidate.

Only three said they would vote for Trump. One said "why not?", and another laughed as they said they would vote for the republican nominee.

Rachel Long, 70, from Matakana Island said she would vote for Trump.

"Hillary is elitist and Donald is saying he will do a lot of things for the lower and middle class, those are the people that are suffering," she said.

She said he was not "groomed" like Clinton.

Ten people said they would vote for Clinton.

"She's the lesser of two evils," Chris Matthews, 30, from Matua said.

Phil Wilson, 73, said she would vote for Clinton not because she had great confidence in her but because of the alternative.

"Donald is all blow,... He's a danger to humanity," she said.

He was a showman, with no policy and "it is scary", Ms Wilson said.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shakes hands with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton after the first presidential debate. PHOTO/AP
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shakes hands with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton after the first presidential debate. PHOTO/AP

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, who was part of the New Zealand delegation at the International Democratic Union annual and the Republican National Convention earlier this year, watched today's debate with interest.

It was a "continuation of the whole bizarre election process," he said.

He said he thought Clinton won "hands down" - she was professional, measured and clearly competent while "Donald was... Donald, all over the place".

He said the first presidential debate was critical, particularly in an open presidency - when the incumbent was not running.

A group of American ex-pats who gathered to watch a recording of the presidential debate tonight were unimpressed with what they saw,

Democrats Abroad came together to watch the debate and comfort each other at the potential future the United States faced.

Dawn Dromgool said Trump came out over-confident but it soon became clear he was totally unprepared for the debate.

Matthew Koch with a 'Trump's wall' cake, at an ex-pat gathering to watch the first US presidential debate. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK
Matthew Koch with a 'Trump's wall' cake, at an ex-pat gathering to watch the first US presidential debate. PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK

"He was telling blatant lies. Hillary appeared more presidential and rational," she said.

Diana Prizgintas said the race between Trump and Clinton was worryingly close.

She was paying more attention to the election this year because "the mere idea of Trump as President is appalling."

While Ms Prizgintas was not crazy about a Clinton presidency she said "anyone but Trump".

Trump was speaking the language of disenfranchised Americans but his promises were empty, she said.

She said the bar was being held so low for Trump and he was not being held to the same standard as Clinton, citing Clinton's email scandal and Trump's refusal to show tax returns as incomparable.


The Bay of Plenty Times asked Tauranga's mayoral candidates "Trump or Clinton and why?" Here is what they said.

Hori Leaming: For the first time ever I would not vote in protest at the candidates' lack of integrity. Thank you New Zealand for the choices we have in our MMP system.

Steve Morris: Neither.

Max Mason: Clinton because NZ doesn't need a belligerent USA and Trump is inherently a bully, driven by ego and status, not fair-mindedness.

Greg Brownless: said it was a pity both could not lose but he would vote for Clinton as she was the more truthful and sensible choice.

Graeme Purches: In the interests of world economic and social stability, Clinton, despite all her family baggage, would get my tick. In this case it is a shame there will not be third box to tick - for the election to be declared null and void...

Kelvin Clout: I'm afraid the US election is a circus. Are these really the best two candidates out of a population of 320 million?

Larry Baldock: Trump. The apparent evidence revealing Clinton's abuse of political power is more concerning than Trump's previous questionable business deals.

Murray Guy: Trump or Clinton and why, begs the question, recall for nominations please?

US Elections
- Held Tuesday, November 8

- Bay of Plenty Times

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