enquiries@backbencher.co.nz | (04) 472 3065
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Menu #42 is here!

We offer fresh NZ café fare, made on premises, for healthy everyday eating and value for money. Our extensive menus cater from early morning with brunch and extend into a main menu from 11a.m. until late. Alistair Boyce is the chef and the owner with 30 years of experience designing and implementing menus."Boycie" believes in "fresh in, fresh out", utilising fresh, natural and NZ produce, particularly fresh local seafood and wild game.





Five unique bars with their own personalities allow a variety of social experiences - alfresco, interactive or private. It could be wine & tapas in "Standing Orders", beer & sport in the "Back bar", local coffee & homemade cake in "Cellar-vate" espresso bar, platters in the "Lounge", fresh pressed juices in the "Street bar" or finger food & bubbly on the deck of the private "Lobby bar" upstairs.

Whether you’re booking for dining, casual drinks, events or a function

​we can help make it memorable

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About the Backbencher

The Backbencher Gastropub is a NZ and Wellington institution. It existed as the Wellington Hotel from the early 1900's until it was renovated into the Backbencher in 1990 and launched by the Prime Minister of the time, Jim Bolger. In 1997 the current owners bought the building and business. In 2012 the pub was devastated by two fires and was refurbished back toward its original layout and design. It was reopened by John Key and the leaders of all the major NZ political parties in February, 2013 to a fanfare of media publicity and public expectation.

Alistair Boyce is probably Wellington's longest serving publican who has been involved in the pub almost continuously since its 1990 re-establishment. "Boycie" is the happily institutionalised chef with a political science and history degree who directs  the operations, menu and puppet satire. Boycie lives and breathes the ebbs and flows of politics, food & beverages and is supported by a valuable crew of staff. In 2005 the Pub expanded upstairs into dedicated function rooms and opened the popular local espresso bar and bottleshop, "Cellar-vate" next door on Molesworth st..



The Backbencher Gastropub enjoys a huge national profile driven by mainstream media who cannot resist the photo opportunities provided by the everchanging puppet satire. Not only do the country's Prime Minister's and leading politicians continue to enjoy unveiling the latest puppet creations in their honour but in recent years the Pub has also had its own TV show called, funnily enough, "Back benches". This show has run for over 5 years and will return to our TV screens via Prime in 2014 up until the next general election.

The Backbencher prides itself on being a very local Wellington institution. The pub has been the homebase for the Yellow Fever supporters movement since the launch of the Wellington Phoenix Football Club in 2007. The close proximity to the stadium has meant the Pub has always been the ideal location before and after All black, Lions and Hurricanes rugby games as well as concerts. There is always ample parking and an easy walk to the stadium.


Personality for all occasions

Five unique bars, two dedicated dining rooms, in a restrengthened and historic "Wellington Hotel".

Function capability for up to 300 persons downstairs and 100 persons upstairs.

NZ hospitality's national treasure.

A shrine to NZ political satire.

A showcase for NZ wine, beer and fresh local produce.

A venue of unparalleled personality, directly opposite NZ's parliament.




With  large & varied menus, we have food to suit most tastes & any budget

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With 5 bars we offer 5 very different and very social experiences.


Our proximity to parliament, the stadium & the CBD is of legend


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Accomplished trading since 1990, owned  since 1997 - we provide and back our product and service personally.

“I screamed with delight when I saw her, eco warrior princess with great boots and a bad attitude.”
client - Metiria Turei


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Phone: 04 472 3065

Email: enquires@backbencher.co.nz


The Backbencher Gastropub

34 Molesworth St
Thorndon 6011