As the US election results come trickling in ex-pats living in Tauranga are nervously glued to their televisions and phones.

Dawn Dromgool, a Californian now living in Katikati, spoke with the Bay of Plenty Times while watching CNN's reports of the early results for Kentucky, Indiana and Vermont.

"I'm being optimistic. I think Hillary will win."

Later in the evening Ms Dromgool would be donning a white pantsuit and heading to a fellow ex-pat's home to watch the final results - "and hopefully celebrate."

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"This is the most important election of my lifetime I believe," Ms Dromgool said, as a woman and as someone strongly involved in presidential campaigns. She did door knocking and canvassing for the John Kerry campaign in 2004.

To see and be a part of the first female America president would mean a lot to her.

"New Zealand was one of the first countries to give women the vote. There have been several female leaders. I don't think they've had to go through quite what American women have had to, that's why it's so important. She's not only a woman but the most qualified to be president.

"Can you imagine what the world would be like if Trump won?"