Great Britain

Jacinda Ardern puppet like ‘something from Game of Thrones’, says New Zealand PM

A New Zealand pub, known for its lifesize puppets of New Zealand politicians, has unveiled one of Jacinda Ardern, who called it “a cross between some kind of celestial being and something from Game of Thrones”.

The Backbencher pub, opposite the parliament house in Wellington, has been creating politician puppets for 30 years, and on Tuesday night unveiled its second puppet of the prime minister.

Ardern was seen holding her hand over her mouth when the puppet was unveiled. “I’m often asked what the most unusual thing I’m asked to do as prime minister is. Unveiling a puppet in your likeness is right up there,” she said.

The grinning figure displayed in the dining room of the pub wears a chain mail dress and holds a sceptre, a change from her first caricature as a DJ in 2018.

New Zealand opposition leader Judith Collins with her puppet.
New Zealand opposition leader Judith Collins with her puppet. Photograph: Ben Mckay/AAP

National party leader Judith Collins, Act party leader David Seymour and Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick were also immortalised with new puppets.

Collins tweeted she was “very happy” with her puppet while Seymour said his was “not entirely unflattering”.

Swarbrick was depicted as Katniss from The Hunger Games, holding a bow and arrow in front of climate protesters, which she found “very kind”. While the drug reform advocate said “the bow and arrow was quite different to the bong I was expecting” she did have a marijuana leaf badge on her vegan leather jacket.

Visitors to the pub can also enjoy political-themed dishes such as “Ardern’s fresh fish” or “Robertson’s scotch fillet”, named after the deputy prime minister, Grant Robertson.

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