The Backbencher

February 27th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

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Went to the official relaunch of the Backbencher last night. The interior, after the fire, has changed a lot. where the kitchen used to be is a lounge bar, and the bar remodelled to provide more room.

They launched seven new puppets last night, which I’ve featured below.

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This looks like David Shearer on the toilet in his underpants but I’m pretty sure he is meant to be a Roman Consul sitting on the Consul’s chair. I presume he is meant to be Julius Caesar, which of course makes you wonder who will be Brutus?

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Winston the pugilist. What was hilarious was when Winston headed over to the pub. Even the PM trotted over with just one lackey, but Winston was followed by a dozen pin-striped individuals into the pub looking like a mafia family.

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Metiria Turei was delighted with her puppet. It looks like a cross between being a corporate warrior and a member of the Urerewa 17!

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Bill’s one is very clever. His heart has been replaced by the ticket tape of an adding machine.

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John Key or John Travolta. The PM quipped that if you have seen the video of him doing Gangnam Style you know he can’t dance. We think the puppet is an allusion to the fact the the PM is still “Staying Alive”. PM also quipped Bronagh will like the implicit comparison to Olivia Newton John.

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Hone loved being in the waka and commented that Pita and Tariana used to be on it, and seem to have moved on. Subtle (only slightly) and funny.

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Gerry gave the funniest speech. He was pleased with how small his body was and said he reckons it was because they used up all the spare latex on making the Prime Minister’s nose. The PM, who was still there, interjected with words about a looming reshuffle. All good natured and very funny.

Was a great night, with lots of people there. Really good to have the open again. It has been my local since the day it opened in around 1990.

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21 Responses to “The Backbencher”

  1. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Metiria Turei or Jenny Shipley – you be the judge.

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  2. Keeping Stock (10,177 comments) says:

    When Shearer gets up to speak in the House today (or should that be the Senate?), will there be cat-calls of “Beware the Ides of March”? :D

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  3. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Is it the old Shamrock?

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  4. Nostalgia-NZ (5,043 comments) says:

    Good joke by Gerry.

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  5. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    The PM, who was still there, interjected with words about a looming reshuffle.

    I thought the PM made a quip that it was just as well there’d been a reshuffle…hinting that Brownlee might have been demoted otherwise. :)

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  6. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Is it the old Shamrock?

    I don’t think so…I think the Shamrock (or whatever it is now called) is still where it’s been.

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  7. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    Didn’t the old pub have the ‘moustached one’ up there? :cool:

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  8. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    One curious thing, they said they wouldn”t replace some of the damaged puppets becasue time had moved on, but Winston manages another phoenix.

    I see there’s a Metiria. No Russel?

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  9. dishy (234 comments) says:

    Joana: no, it’s not the old Shamrock. It used to be The Wellington – a pub much favoured by alkymoholics. It’s been the Backbencher for 20 years or more. What was The Shamrock became Frasers (a flash restaurant that fell victim to the sharemarket crash) and is now Indus, an Indian restaurant. Indus is on Tinakori Road.

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  10. WineOh (604 comments) says:

    I first thought that Hone’s puppet was of John Banks, but then I saw that he still had a paddle so it couldn’t be him.

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  11. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    David Shearer is more T. Veturius Calvinus than C. Iulius Caesar.

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  12. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    WineOh – yeah, modern cabbage boats don’t seem to need paddles http://yournz.org/2012/04/30/no-reason-to-doubt-john-banks-telling-is-the-truth/

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  13. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    First photo makes it look very sterile and corporate – apart from the puppets – although that could be just a quirk of that photo not doing the place justice?

    Might have to check it out for myself…

    And on top of the likenesses, all the non-human details like the rusty reo in Gerry’s concrete and the construction of the sides of Hone’s waka all go to show what a complete artist the cartoonist / sculptor is IMHO… very impressive!

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  14. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    And on what basis did they think Metiria Turei was worth the effort?
    I think shes been pretty much a waste of space (except I understand that she increased her own space since finding the parliamentary eatery….) in the house.

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  15. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Too much credit given to Jerry Brownlee but the right image of showman Key.

    Probably a couple of MP’s who shouldn’t be recognised which would be another thread

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  16. wreck1080 (3,807 comments) says:

    I wonder if some pollies could have an alternative job as stand-up comedians.

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  17. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    DPF:His heart has been replaced by the ticket tape of an adding machine.

    Ticker tape, not ticket tape.

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  18. lofty (1,304 comments) says:

    I am looking forward to visiting and dropping a couple when next in Wellington, I enjoyed the old pub, I do hope that the rebirth has not affected the atmosphere.

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  19. Catto (2 comments) says:

    “…PM also quipped Bronagh will like the implicit comparison to Olivia Newton John.”

    So, wait…he thinks Olivia Newton-John was in Stayin’ Alive?

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  20. Silly Will Bunions (143 comments) says:

    Catto. Close but no cigar. Wrong musical yes, but …

    Saturday Night Live

    (Olivia Newton-John was Grease)

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  21. Catto (2 comments) says:

    Yes, sorry, brain fade on my part too evidently! But we’re talking about Saturday Night FEVER, in any case. Third time lucky.

    But she certainly wasn’t in the film he’s dressed for as a puppet…he might as well have said Uma Thurman (who was in Pulp Fiction, but not Saturday Night Fever, with…John Travolta).

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