New Zealand City’s ‘Official Wizard’ Was Taken Off Its Payroll Because Magic Is Dead

A New Zealand city seems to have left itself vulnerable to a revenge hex.

The city council of Christchurch announced that it will stop paying its official wizard $16,000 ($10,400 USD) a year in December, New Zealand news site Stuff reported.

Ian Brackenbury Channell (aka the Wizard) has been serving as the city’s appointed necromancer since the olden days of 1998. Over the past few decades he has made a total of $368,000 (roughly $258,825 USD) “to provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like-services — as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch.”

Ian Brackenbury Channell — aka the Wizard of Christchurch — casts a “spell” during a television interview in 2011.

Council Assistant Chief Executive Lynn McClelland told Stuff that the council made the “difficult decision” to fire their local mage because the “promotional landscape” of the city is changing and it would like to fund offerings that “will increasingly reflect our diverse communities.”

The Wizard, who frankly should have used his powers to see this coming, said the city council has “no imagination” and projects “an image of bureaucrats drinking lattes on the boulevard.”

The Wizard in the 1990s.

The Wizard — who holds a New Zealand driver’s license bearing the name “The Wizard” — moved to the country in the 1970s and has been a fixture in Christchurch ever since, CNN reported. He’s even earned himself a TripAdvisor rating (four out of five stars).

He told CNN that he views himself less as Gandalf and more as a goofball or a showman who brings joy to the city.

“Every day the world gets more serious, so fun is the most powerful thing in the world right now,” he said.

The Wizard also emphasized to Stuff that the pink slip from the city won’t stop him from being himself across Christchurch.

“It makes no difference,” he said. “I will still keep going. They will have to kill me to stop me.”


By Steve