Backbencher pub to re-open tonight

04:31, Feb 28 2013
Backbencher fire September 2012
Backbencher managing director Alistair Boyle and daughter Alexandra after yesterday's blaze.
Backbencher fire September 2012
Firefighters battle a second fire at Backbencher's pub.
Backbencher fire September 2012
Firefighters battle a second fire at Backbencher's pub.
Backbencher fire September 2012
Firefighters battle a second fire at Backbencher's pub.
Backbencher fire September 2012
A second fire at Backbencher's pub started here.

The curtains on seven new satirical puppets will be pulled back at The Backbenchers' official reopening tonight.

Prime Minister John Key, deputy Bill English, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and Gerry Brownlee and are among politicians whose images have been immortalised in puppets created by Bryce Curtis.

Also included are Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei, Labour leader David Shearer and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira.

PUB FIRE: Firefighters were alerted to the fire at the iconic Backbencher Pub at 4.45am.
PUB FIRE: Firefighters were alerted to the fire at the iconic Backbencher Pub at 4.45am.
PUB FIRE: Firefighters were alerted to the fire at the iconic Backbencher Pub at 4.45am.
PUB FIRE: Firefighters were alerted to the fire at the iconic Backbencher Pub at 4.45am.
PUB FIRE: Firefighters were alerted to the fire at the iconic Backbencher Pub at 4.45am.
PUB FIRE: Firefighters were alerted to the fire at the iconic Backbencher Pub at 4.45am.
BLAZE: Damaged puppets could cost $10,000 to replace.
BLAZE: Damaged puppets could cost $10,000 to replace.
ICONIC PUB: The Backbencher is well-known for its political theme.
ICONIC PUB: The Backbencher is well-known for its political theme.
AFTERMATH: Backbencher Pub owner Alistair Boyce.
AFTERMATH: Backbencher Pub owner Alistair Boyce.

Backbencher owner Alistair Boyce said each politician would unveil their puppet and have a "right of reply".

"It could be mayhem. But generally politicians are undeniably rapt and really enjoy it. They really enjoy seeing an effigy of themselves."

A fire last June gutted the kitchen of the bar, while another in October delayed reopening.

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The bar had a "soft" reopening earlier in the month with a private function, giving them a chance to iron out any issues, Mr Boyce said.

"All the reactions have been really positive and everyone's itching to see the puppets. They really are satirical works of art."

Tonight's opening was the chance to broadcast to the world they were back up and running, he said.

The Dominion Post