New Zealand's "Official Wizard" Gets the Boot from City’s Payroll


The city council of Christchurch announced that it’ll stop paying its official wizard $16,000 year come December. That translates to $10,400 USD!

Ian Brackenbury Channell has been serving as the city’s appointed necromancer since 1998 and has accumulated a whopping $368,000 ($258,825 USD) since then. His job description? “To provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like-services – as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch.”

First reported by the New Zealand news site Stuff, Council Assistant Chief Executive Lynn McClelland shared that the council made the “difficult decision” to let their local mage go due to the “promotional landscape” of the city changing. They’re choosing to allocate the funds to offerings that “will increasingly reflect [their] diverse communities.”

A real wizard would’ve seen this coming, but Channell was blindsided, saying that the city council has “no imagination” and projects “an image of bureaucrats drinking lattes on the boulevard.”

“The Wizard” told CNN that he views himself not as a true wizard like a Gandalf or a Harry Potter, but more of a ‘goofball’ or ‘showman’ who brings joy to the city. With a driver’s license reflecting his stage name, Channell moved to New Zealand back in the 1970s and has been a figure in the Christchurch ever since, reported CNN. The man has a 4-out-of-5-star review on Trip Advisor.

“Every day the world gets more serious, so fun is the most powerful thing in the world right now,” he said. “They will have to kill me to stop me [from being The Wizard].”


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