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New puppets unveiled at Backbencher

Tuesday 26 Feb 2013 10:16 p.m.

See the photo gallery

photoThe politically-themed Wellington pub the Backbencher has re-opened after it fell victim to two separate fires last year.

It's famous for a collection of caricature politician puppets on its walls, and tonight it has seven brand new faces to show off.

The Prime Minister was chuffed with his caricature as another John: Travolta, that is.

“I'm definitely trying to stay alive. I don't think I'd normally have a fever on Saturday night, but that's fine,” says Mr Key.

“Grease was a great movie, and I think it suits him,” says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

But while his political opponents were keen to make fun, Mr Key wasn't immune to jibes from his colleagues either.

“I guess when you had to mould the Prime Minister's nose there was a latex shortage in New Zealand,” says Earthquake Reconstruction Minister Gerry Brownlee.

The Backbencher has been refurbished and earthquake strengthened after it was ravaged by two fires last year.

Among the victims was Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples. His toasted remains weren't replaced - much to the delight of the newly enshrined Hone Harawira.

“Maybe it's time for a change,” says Mr Harawira, who didn't seem too worried his waka appeared to be nose-diving.

“I'm just riding the waves...if you ride the first one well you get out of the next one easy.”

Green Party co-leader Meteria Turei made the cut, and Labour leader David Shearer debuted as a pondering philosopher on a toilet.

“Well you do a lot of thinking in those situations so maybe it's pretty life-like,” he says.

Mr Brownlee was unveiled as a Bob-the-Builder fix-it type.

“I am pretty happy with the body to be honest,” he says.

But true to form political prize-fighter Mr Peters made a comeback post-fire, channelling Muhammad Ali.

“If you even dream you're going to beat me - you should wake up and apologise.”

Fitting from a man used to getting up off the canvas.

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