Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

No Petrol, No Diesel! 2009

Directed by Stefen Harris

Big business and a small, struggling rural support town are on a collision course in this good natured comedy made on a shoestring budget with extensive community goodwill.

104 minutes 35mm

Director, Producer, Screenplay

Associate producer

Pegeen O’Rourke


John Brawley


Richard Clark


Tane Upton-Beatson


Jim Moriarty
Helen Pearse-Otene
Mark Hadlow
David McPhail
Bruno Lawrence
Janice Gray
Charlie Belvie
Colin Barratt
Jim Firth

World Premiere

Regent on Worcester, 1 August 2009


The ‘good, hard working people’ of Temuka take on Overseas International Liquids, aka Big Oil, in Stef Harris’ genial new small-town comedy. Reuniting the cast of The Waimate Conspiracy (2006), Harris once again addresses pressing social issues (corporate starvation of rural communities) by deploying a documentary style to spin an unlikely tale. No Petrol couldn’t be more direct in its sentimental attachment to the ‘ordinary New Zealander’, but there’s nothing air-brushed about this picture of rural virtues: the grit in his battlers feels tried and tested. Jim Moriarty and Helen Pearse-Otene play adopted siblings fighting off the suspiciously intense interest of OIL in the family garage after the mysterious accidental death of their father. The good aren’t the only hard workers hereabouts and Mark Hadlow huffs and slimes his way with odious relish through his lonely role as the devil’s increasingly frantic envoy. — BG