The Backbencher


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.


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?


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.


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


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 His heart has been replaced by the ticket tape of an adding machine.


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.


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.


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 Backbencher open again. It has been my local since the day it opened in around 1990.