The odds are stacked against him but Whangarei's American community has faith in Barack Obama's capabilities in his role as the President of United States.
Obama, sworn in as the first black and the 44th President of the United States in Washington this morning, faces a daunting task that may take years to overcome.
They include two unfinished wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US economy deep in recession, the budget deficit about to hit US$1 trillion ($1.87 trillion) and America's image badly tarnished abroad.
Whangarei's Gina Eiger has lived in Washington and could feel the atmosphere as millions descended at the Capitol to watch the swearing-in.
She said she would be glued to her television set from 5am for this morning's inauguration.
Born in Montana, she has lived in Washington and stood in the Lincoln Memorial which the President-elect recently visited.
"I just wish I was there ... everyone is so full of celebration and very optimistic and supportive of Obama," she said.
Ms Eiger was in Obama's native Hawaii when he won the presidential election and said the atmosphere on the island was electrifying.
She said even in conservative Montana and among Republicans there was an optimism that the new president would bring changes for the better.
Tricia Culina, who hails from San Juan Island in Washington but has lived in Whangarei for about 15 years, will miss Obama's inauguration on television.
She left US in 1993 after being fed up with Washington politics.
"I am very excited. It's a huge historic event and very much something to celebrate, but I'll go camping at Kai Iwi Lakes."
"Obama's win is the best thing that has ever happened. It's hugely important and I do have lots of hope he'll have a good heart, an intelligent mind and will make good choices."
Equally important for her was George W Bush's exit from the White House because "he made bad choices on environment and spent money on wars".
Linda Wallace may have left New York 30 years ago but she is as excited as fellow Americans about Obama's inauguration.
She had hoped to be up in the early hours to watch the first African-American sworn in as President of the United States.
"He's a marvellous choice for change. There's tremendous expectation and he'll find it difficult but nothing happens quickly and a lot of people are behind him," she said.
"He's not just a black man, he's of mixed race and a brilliant man, a brilliant orator, and he's turned around people who never had voted for him."
Ms Wallace comes from a family of die-hard Republicans and travels to the US every two years.
Californian Gloria Bruni says Obama is the first inspirational leader US has had in 30 years.
She said Obama would be able to improve America's international reputation and bring changes on the domestic front.
"Within the US there are a number of radical right-wing opponents who'll be fighting tooth and nail against much of what he wants to do, but they are everywhere."