US election: Rotorua man in LA describes scenes of jubilation after Biden wins

“A palpable sense of relief” is how a former Rotorua man is describing the feeling in Los Angeles.

Renata West, a former Te Puia staff member who has lived in the US for the past five years promoting tourism to New Zealand, said the fear of mass protests on the streets seems to have abated.

“The long-awaited results and last four years has left people exhausted.

“We’ve seen people crying openly and cheering in the streets of Los Angeles banging pots and pans, cheering and honking horns. Friends are also sending videos from DC and NYC where there are similar scenes of jubilation.”

On Sunday New Zealand time Joe Biden was appointed President-elect and the 46th president of the United States. He’s joined by Kamala Harris, the first black woman to be elected Vice President of the US.

Current US President Donald Trump has refused to concede, however, and is declaring the results flawed while promising to launch legal action.

Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post from Los Angeles today, West said Trump supporters were very quiet.

“(They) almost don’t believe the results. It falls on Joe Biden to bring them into the fold and form a more united union now.”

Meanwhile, expat American Don Cole who has called Rotorua home for the last 41 years of 47 since leaving the US, said there was a big gap between left and right that would prove difficult for Biden.

Cole has been glued to the election coverage on television since last week and said he and his wife, Shari, were “pretty pleased” with the results.

“We haven’t been too happy with some of the things going on over there. Extreme rights and lefts are much greater than they were 50 years ago. But we are very, very happy we are here and we are Kiwis.”

Cole said he believed it would be an uphill battle for Biden and Harris.

“But it’s encouraging to see what’s going on there now.”

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