Walk the streets of a Far North town and you'll hear an American accent.

But in Kerikeri and surrounding districts it was hard to find an American celebrating Indpendence Day on July 4.

Reverend Sandy McKay, a member of St James Church, still has to unpack from weeks overseas, including visiting family in Key West, Florida, and so planned to do nothing else.

"Besides which, after 28 years living here I feel like a foreigner when I go back to the USA and it's different over there. With family we would always go to the pier at night on Independence Day and watch the fireworks and that's what I still love to do but there isn't the opportunity here."


Gina Garcia of Kerikeri celebrated Independence Day by doing "nothing exciting" and going to a tai chi class. If her husband were still alive, it would be different. Internationally renowned composer/arranger Russ Garcia died in 2011. "We would have celebrated some way, maybe have dinner with American friends, but I don't do that any more. In the States, though, it's a big deal and you always do something with family and friends."