After working as a television producer and director in Los Angeles Carrie Brown now lives a much quieter life in Papamoa, but is still anxiously awaiting the results of US election on Wednesday.
She cast an absentee vote this year, for the first time since leaving America.
"This is the first election in 10 years where I've really felt that I needed to vote," she said.
"I've never seen so many people out there campaigning to make sure that you're registered and voting."
A firm Democrat, she once spent a two-week stint working on Hillary Clinton's advance team, scouting out locations for the candidate and her daughter, Chelsea, to dine at and visit during a trip to Monterey Bay.
"My allegiance lies with Hillary," Ms Brown said.
Clinton would make history as the first woman to be president and has worked under the Obama presidency, with a lot of the same ideologies, Mrs Brown said.
"Who ever was running against [Donald] Trump I would probably vote for all the same," she said.
She is shocked the Republican candidate has gone as far as he has without any political background. Having worked in television news in America she has never seen the media take sides the way they have done in portraying Trump, she said.
However, just a few days out from the election, the polls reflect Trump is still firmly in the running.
"Obviously I am quite nervous. The fact that Trump could become president is so, so scary," she said.
Unlike other US politicians without a political background, including actors Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, she said Trump would make his own decisions.
"I think that's quite worrying because he doesn't see the need to communicate."
This year's election was the most hotly-discussed in history, but for a lot of the wrong reasons, Ms Brown said.
She wants to see the new president introduce stricter gun control laws.
While she didn't want to see Americans' Second Amendment rights removed, there needed to be much more control over who was allowed to own a gun, she said.
A recent trip to the US proved the issue was on everyone's mind, she said. "We need to have much stronger policy put in place."
The cost of housing in New Zealand has made her consider a move back to the US.
"I think it's very hard for the middle class here to get ahead," she said.
Meanwhile, Te Puke Primary School teacher Kevin Piermarini, who originates from New York State, left America in his mid-20s having not aligned himself to the Republican or Democratic parties.
He hasn't voted this year, or in the 11 years since leaving America, but returned for a family wedding last month and said relatives were baffled.
"[They] don't really want to vote for either of them," he said.
"I don't know who I would really vote for. I wouldn't vote for Trump or Clinton. I feel like the system needs a serious change; the whole voting system. It's a bit corrupt, so media-driven and dishonest," he said.
Megan Lippy, who co-owns Tauranga restaurant Rye American Kitchen & Spirits moved to New Zealand about 11 years ago and is a happy ''Mountie''.
"Being an American, I'm just happy I'm in New Zealand," she said.
Ms Lippy is concerned about the future of her home country but says that's not a new thing.
"Who ever gets elected this is going to affect the entire would. That's the scary thing," she said.
Although she enjoys returning to America twice a year, she has no plans to re-locate her young family there.
In a light-hearted take on the elections, staff at Rye have created a hot-dog based on New York and Illinois, the home states of Trump and Clinton.
Diners can sample both before voting for their favorite with the winner being announced on election day.
What: Presidency of the United States for a four-year term, with a limit of two terms.
Who: Democrat Hillary Clinton vs Republican Donald Trump.
When: Tuesday, November 8. Results are expected on Wednesday afternoon (NZ time).