Wellington’s renowned watering hole The Backbencher will open its doors tonight for the first time since it was gutted by two separate fires last year.
The pub is a famous institution and its location across the road from the beehive made it popular with parliamentarians.
Since 1990, its walls and roof have been adorned with huge puppets of politicians and its menu has mocked prominent decision-makers.
In June last year, a fire started by a clothes dryer caused significant damage to the pub which damaged the puppets beyond repair. Another fire in October caused more damage.
Prime Minister John Key will officially open the pub at around 6:30pm, unveiling his new puppet and those of his two top men – Finance Minister Bill English and Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei, Labour leader David Shearer, NZ First leader Winston Peters, and Mana leader Hone Harawira will also unveil their new puppets.