Rotorua runaway millionaire Kara Hurring will reveal her story for the first time in a telefeature on September 1.

In 2009, Rotorua couple Kara Hurring and Leo Gao fast-tracked their way out of financial strife after receiving millions of dollars in a banking error.

Gao had asked for a $100,000 overdraft for his struggling Rotorua service station but a misplaced decimal point saw him mistakenly receive $10m instead.

Kara Hurring, centre, leaves the Rotorua District Court in 2012. Photo / File
Kara Hurring, centre, leaves the Rotorua District Court in 2012. Photo / File

Gao and his girlfriend Kara Hurring, along with her 6-year-old daughter, fled New Zealand for a new life in China with $10m dollars of stolen money.

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Their story captivated international media for two years and the hunt for New Zealand's most wanted couple gripped the nation and the world.

Hurring and Gao struggled to keep up their unconventional lifestyle and, in New Zealand, a local police detective received a tip-off and began an investigation to track them down.

Set against the backdrop of five-star hotels and hidden back alleys of mainland China, Runaway Millionaires is screening on September 1 and will reveal Hurring's untold story and the reasons behind her actions.

Hurring and Leo Gao are sentenced in the Rotorua District Court in 2012. Photo / File
Hurring and Leo Gao are sentenced in the Rotorua District Court in 2012. Photo / File

She has never spoken publicly about the incident.

Directed by Danny Mulheron, produced by Carmen J Leonard and Deb Cope, and written by Pip Hall, Runaway Millionaires screens on Sunday, September 1 at 8.30pm on TVNZ 1.

The idea of the telefeature came up in late 2015 when Cope was researching for her next potential project.

Jess Sayer as Kara Hurring and George Zhao as Leo Gao in Runaway Millionaires. Photo / TVNZ
Jess Sayer as Kara Hurring and George Zhao as Leo Gao in Runaway Millionaires. Photo / TVNZ

After completing a number of period pieces, including Hillary, Cope said she wanted to do something contemporary and with a strong female lead, and Leonard agreed.

The producers put the idea to broadcaster TVNZ, which granted funding for a script to be written.

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Jess Sayer as Kara Hurring and George Zhao as Leo Gao in Runaway Millionaires. Photo / TVNZ
Jess Sayer as Kara Hurring and George Zhao as Leo Gao in Runaway Millionaires. Photo / TVNZ

The crew tracked down Hurring, who was hesitant to bring the story up again but eventually agreed.

Part of the telefeature has been filmed in Rotorua, where the story initially took place.

Producer/executive producer Cope said stumbling on such a great story with a strong female lead was a dream come true.

Hurring, centre, leaves the Rotorua District Court in 2012. Photo / File
Hurring, centre, leaves the Rotorua District Court in 2012. Photo / File

"It was such a big news story at the time that I couldn't quite believe it hadn't been told before.

"Once we got into the scripting process we uncovered so much more than we thought we knew and this incredible story came alive.

"It's been a truly amazing process to tell Kara Hurring's story and I'm extremely proud of this film."

About 40 people make up the base crew and there are 30 members of the cast.

The key cast includes Jess Sayer as Kara Hurring, George Zhao as Leo Gao and Joel Tobeck as Mark Loper.

Runaway Millionaires was made with funding from NZ On Air.