US elections: A Māori-American perspective

By Taroi Black

While the U.S elections remain a hot topic in New Zealand, a young Māori-American who affiliates to Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou believes this year has kept voters talking in the States and abroad.

Amber Ruckes, who’s part African-American through her father’s side says this year has been "crazy", but believes Hilary Clinton has what it takes to become the first woman in American history to win the elections.

The 30-year-old has been voting in the U.S Elections since 2008 when Barrack Obama became the first African-American to be president.

“It was a cool feeling because there were so many people saying that he wouldn’t do it but when the results were coming through during that time I knew he would win. So I rung up my dad and the rest was history.”

Donald Trump has also been the central focus in most political debates this year. Ruckes disagrees with his campaigns and policies including the construction of a wall that will completely divide Mexico and America.

“It reminds me of the time when America was a segregated country during my father’s time in the 1960’s. Dad hasn’t shared his experience with me but there were interesting times during his upbringing in Chicago.

I believe it’s a dangerous move because when you think about it, during the WWII the Jews were put into these camps and generally that what I can see happening back in America with how he’s presenting the idea of the wall.”

Despite all the controversy around this year’s U.S elections, Ruckes hasn’t shied away from the idea of moving to the States.