When United States ex-pat Mead Norton woke up this morning, he breathed a "sigh of relief".
Joe Biden had been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
"It was really nice to see Biden talking about moving forward, and being a president for everyone in the country, not just demanding loyalty."
Biden, 78, is the oldest president to be inaugurated and was sworn in alongside Kamala Harris - the first female, first black person and first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency.
Disregarding tradition, outgoing president Donald Trump did not attend the ceremony but former presidents Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Barack Obama did.
Purple, rather than Democratic Blue, was the colour of the day - symbolising "America United" and Mead said this added to his hope of a "brighter future" for his home country.
"I'm hoping that Biden's professionalism and experience as a politician will reverse all the damage ... internationally and domestically."
He hoped to see the United States' reputation repaired and believed it was a matter of when, and not if that would happen.
Tauranga's Sydnee Gould said it was "a good day to be American" and believed Biden's heart and mind were in the right place.
She felt Biden's speech did not make unrealistic promises, appealed to all Americans and promoted unity and overcoming differences to create a peaceful future.
"That's the only way we can move through the issues the country is facing."
Democrats Abroad New Zealand secretary Dawn Dromgool had spent the day watching the inauguration with excitement exploding out of her.
"One of the first executive decisions [Biden] made was rejoining the Paris Agreement, and confronting climate change, which is really important, so I think you're going to see a big difference in everything."
Dromgool hoped Trump would not be able to stand for president in the future due to the impeachment process.
How does the inauguration affect New Zealand?
University of Waikato political science lecturer Dr Justin Phillips said Biden signing the Paris Agreement and an executive order surrounding masks on federal property were both signs of the United States coming into line with the Jacinda Ardern-led Government.
"There's more ideological overlap between the Biden administration's approach and the current government in New Zealand and its administration.
"That will help in the way that the two administrations will go forward in terms of co-operation - it's far easier to work with people that you agree with on ideological issues than those that you disagree with."
Ultimately, the changes in the United States government had a "major effect" on New Zealand and its position in the world, he said.
"While all the countries viewed this as a circus and spectacle, [the United States'] actions are deeply consequential in many of our everyday lives.
"The Covid pandemic is a really good example because people getting sick overseas, at an immense rate will have a tremendous impact, not just on international travel over the next year or so, but will also have a tremendous impact on our economy, across the entire world.
"And that affects everyone from the people working here in the Port in Tauranga to those in Auckland doing services."
- Additional reporting: AP, via NZ Herald