Holidaymakers looking to fill up before heading away on their Christmas holiday may find a nasty surprise at their local petrol station.

Several petrol stations around the North Island have run out of certain grades of fuel.

Fuel demand in parts of the country is being pushed to the limit due to the Refinery to Auckland fuel pipeline operating at below maximum capacity.

Some stations which have run out include BP on Jervois Rd, Z in Glen Eden, Royal Heights Mobil, and Gull in Birkenhead.

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A customer told the Herald today he went to fill up at the Mobil in Royal Heights but they were out of 91.

He was due to drive his wife and three young children to Hamilton from west Auckland for Christmas Day celebrations tomorrow.

Jane Greensmith said the Z station at Green Bay had run out of 96 and the attendant had told her he predicted they would be out of 91 by 5pm.

Kim Teaweawe said the Ngaruawahia BP and Z stations had only deisel. Mobil in the town had only 91 left.

"Twas quite a shock when I went to fill up for the weekend," she said.

A spokesperson for Z Energy, Jonathan Hill, said there had been strong demand for the construction and contracting sectors along with other factors, is putting strain on the logistics of getting fuel to certain places.

He said the run of hot and dry weather has meant there has been very little interruption to work programmes.

And with people travelling more at this time of the year, the demand was very high.

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in September, a leak was discovered in the 170km pipeline which connects the refiniery at Marsden Point to Auckland.

It was shutdown for 10 days and there have been ongoing issues.

The Government will conduct an inquiry into the outage.