Polls have started to close - and the count has started to decide to who will be the next American president.

Check here for local Rotorua reaction:

Ginny Buchanan

Ginny Buchanan left her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, in 2008 but returns at least once a year. She hasn't voted in this year's election, saying it had been "non-stop crazy".


"I've got a couple of American friends coming over to watch the results. I don't want either to win. If one has to win I'd prefer Hillary. I think this is the craziest election."

She said her sister voted for a green party and if she voted that would have been what she had done but she didn't think it would make much difference.

"I don't think people in the States don't understand how it's going to affect the whole world. I'm scared for my family.

"I still hope that if Trump wins he gets up and says "just kidding, it was all a joke!'"

John Loeffler

Co-owner of Sabroso Rotorua, American John Loeffler, said in his view the election had just been a big corporate show.

"It almost makes you cry when you think about how much money they spend campaigning. That money should be spent elsewhere.

"They should have enough money to fund their own campaigns.

"I would have voted for Clinton if I was there. I don't like the idea of people being able to buy political office with wealth.

"This might be the beginning of a dictatorship if Trump gets in. Hitler, Mussolini and Putin all got elected at some time. I just hope this doesn't become a wrong turning point in history."

Jeremy Mihaka-Dyer

Taupo man Jeremy Mihaka-Dyer is in Chicago.

Mr Mihaka-Dyer said there was still more of a buzz around the Chicago Cubs' recent win in the World Series than the election.

"Probably the city here is still buzzing about the baseball more than the election."

He had just returned from dinner where the election coverage was playing on a television screen, but said it wasn't playing in all the bars.

Mr Mihaka-Dyer said he believed it was closer than many expected at this point.

"We haven't talked to masses of people. There's not a massive buzz. The last person we spoke to cringed and said they couldn't wait for it to be over."

He said while the waitress who served them dinner had a band on to say she had voted, many young people he had spoken to weren't voting because they thought the elections were rigged.

Mr Mihaka-Dyer said there was growing concern about the next generation and who would step up next.

"Chicago should be a Clinton city."

Charlie Windell

Ma Higgins Cafe owner Charlie Windell was born in South Carolina and has always been a Republican.

A dual citizen who has lived in Rotorua since 2002, he too has chosen not to vote.

"The Republicans have got themselves to blame, early on they put up 12 or 13 candidates and to me that's way too many to choose from. They need some sort of vetting process before it gets that far.

"I'd like to see some sort of stability in the States.

"If I were over there, I would've voted Republican because that's what I've done all my life. They are not always going to have a likable candidate, as like today.

"It's disappointing that it's come to this because there has been so many in-fighting. That aside, today seems quite positive.

"Everyone is getting out and voting, it's great to see so many young people voting, the long lines and indication that people are getting out.

"There is good for both sides, we won't go into the bad, Trump was new and he hadn't been corrupted by the political system and Clinton knows how the machine works.

"It's good and bad but I think people are going to remember it for the bad stuff. It probably should have been run a little bit better. There's a lot of negative connotations all over the place.

"It's important on the world scene . . . Trump is probably going to hurt a lot of exports. Not much will change with Hillary.

"It could affect some local businesses in the milk and timber industries if Trump is elected. If Clinton is elected and the Republicans still control the senate then she is going to be hard-pressed to get stuff done.

"I'm glad I live in New Zealand. I love Rotorua, it is my home. I don't want to be negative on not voting it's just that I live here."

Marcello Ojerio

Mountain Bike Rotorua Adventure Hub tour guide Marcello Ojerio is an American Filipino who has been living in New Zealand for almost 10 years.

He is a dual citizen, but this election year decided to abstain from voting to make a stand.

"I call New Zealand and Rotorua my home, but what happens in the United States seems to have a profound effect on us.

"I made a conscious choice to not vote. I don't feel comfortable with either candidate. Having a vote is important and in my mind it's just as important to feel good about using that vote.

"It's a hot button issue for a lot of people but in a truly free society and democracy it's okay for an individual to exercise their right to not vote if they don't feel that they approve of either candidate.

"Towards the end of the campaign Trump's temperament showed he wasn't suitable for the presidency. It became all about attacking personalities which might be great in a popularity contest but in terms of a presidency it became quite an ugly contest. I don't think either candidate portrayed themselves very well."

He said he voted for Barack Obama in the last election.

"I was disappointed with Obama. I think a lot of people had high hopes for him but I don't think he measured up.

"I felt like he was a politician pointing the finger at the Republicans who were blocking everything he was trying legislate.

"This whole campaign seems to have been focused on two distinct personalities and I think the message that maybe has gotten lost in just focusing on Donald and in just focusing on Hillary is that the United States is a deeply divided nation along so many lines and across so many issues. That is troubling for me."

He said he thought Trump was doing well because there were a number of Americans who feel like they had no control.

"Hillary represents the system, if profound change in the system is required I don't think we are going to get that from Hillary. She might be the best possible choice for stability to continue with the status quo. There was a time that I was open to voting for Trump but as the campaign progressed it became clear that he wasn't equipped as a person to be president.

"I really feel like the election became men versus women. As a woman if you didn't support Hillary then you were against women. And if you support Trump then you were a raging misogynist.

"It's really divided, it's divided members of my own family.

"That place is absolutely crazy, there's no part of me that wants to be living there."

Prue McGuire and Terry Robinson

Rotorua couple Prue McGuire and Terry Robinson have been on holiday in the United States and are flying back to New Zealand today.

They weren't disappointed to be leaving on the day of the election, in fact they said it was a good time to leave.

"We think it's a really good time to get out of this country," Ms McGuire said.

"Also I think if Trump loses he will litigate the issues of late polling booth closing and other matters he indicated - so could go on for a long time."

Ms McGuire, a local lawyer, said all shop assistants in the airport were stuck to their phones.

"Texas support Trump and are firmly republican. Lots of people have wanted to talk to us while we've been here about the election - everyone seems to have a strong view one way or the other. But most we have talked to in Chicago, Florida and New Orleans have been Hilary supporters."

She said they had noticed the campaigns lacked substance.

"Every TV or radio ad for a candidate for whatever office simply bags the opposition, haven't heard anything positive like a policy or a reason to vote for the candidate, only propaganda anti the opposition."

She thought most Americans were over the election.

"A lot are really worried about what Trump might do with the power. People have their own placards as signs set up in their gardens, along with their Halloween decorations. Some have even printed their own signs, such as 'Brown family support Trump'."

And older man the couple had met in Vermont said Trump represented every quality the American people had fought wars against.

Ms McGuire said a 10-year-old Mexican boy who goes to Florida regularly was really worried with the polls in Florida showing Trump had a lead, "He's worried he won't be able to come to the states."

Mr Robinson, a local firefighter, said most of the people had said the election had been so divisive.

"They are concerned about what will happen to the country no matter who wins."

Mr Robinson said he hadn't realised the polls were voting for president, party, state governors, judges, sheriff, all the way down to school boards.

"No wonder there are huge queues, that's got to take a while. There are placards everywhere advertising the candidates for all those offices, including judges, and they don't take them down until after the election. They are still advertising - waving placards etc today even."