Backbencher reopening

Sophie Speer at Stuff reports:

Seven bespoke puppets of the “most influential” politicians in the Beehive will join old favourites when The reopens in Wellington this month.

But owner Alistair Boyce is not saying who the MPs are – and each puppet will be unveiled by the politician it was modelled on, to give them “a right of reply”.

Spontaneously combusting tea towels caused a fire which gutted the Molesworth St pub and restaurant – a favoured haunt of political types – last June.

Work is on track to reopen the bar with a private function on February 12, followed by a soft public opening by the end of that week.


Not only is the Backbencher my local, I am by definition its oldest patron as I went for a drink there on the day it first opened in the early 90s, as it was 100 metres from Red Cross House on Hill Street where I was then working. And one of their displays even features some of my more mischievous work of the mid 1990s!

So will be great to have it back again, and to see what changes have been made to it.

Political panel show Back Benches would again be filmed in the bar, with Prime screening 20 episodes, hosted by Wallace Chapman, from April.

Also a welcome return.