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Back River Road

Film (Full Length) – 2001

This low-budget feature fishtails after a Mum and her teenage kids, kicking around the far north one sleepy summer. Store Santa holiday jobs, teen romance, purloined cars, pet possums, and pot deals fill out the small town shenanigans plotline. Ray Woolf plays an undercover cop, and Calvin Tuteao is a kauri-hugging suitor. Director Peter Tait (who acted in Kitchen Sink) wrote the film to showcase the charisma of kids he was teaching at Taipa College. Made for under $20,000, the film “was bigger than Titanic” at Oruru’s Swamp Palace cinema and community hall.

I mainly used my garden to feed everyone. If you can’t pay people, it’s good to feed them well. Farmers would sometimes donate sides of lamb and, on those days, I’d set up a scene and then rush inside to put the roast on!
– Director Peter Tait

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for David McCaw

David McCaw

As: Santa Trainee

Generic Profile image for Richard Weatherly

Richard Weatherly

As: Santa Tutor

Generic Profile image for Josie Thomson

Josie Thomson

As: Ann Yeats

Generic Profile image for Karl Wakelin

Karl Wakelin

As: Santa Trainee

Generic Profile image for Billy Kristian

Billy Kristian

As: Police Agent, Composer

Generic Profile image for Dhaj Sumner

Dhaj Sumner

As: Judy, Costumes

See all 26 credits

Produced by

Pariri Productions


Pariri Productions


Made with the assistance of Te Ahu Tangata Community Employment Group, Department of Labour


Music composed by Wiremu Karaitiana.

Closing track 'Back River Road' composed by Matthews and Tait. Soundtrack includes 'Chains' (by DLT) and 'Ballad of Calvin' (Don McGlashan)