The Official Wizard of New Zealand Axed From Payroll

Ian Brackenbury Channell, the only known wizard-in-residence employed by a state since 1998, will be officially terminated from Christchurch's payroll this December 2021. In an interview with a local news outlet, Lynn McClelland, the Council Assistant Chief Executive, said that "the council has met with The Wizard and sent him a letter thanking him for his services to Christchurch over the past decades."

Channell, in an interview, said that the city council is "a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination." "They are just projecting an image of bureaucrats drinking lattes on the boulevard," he added.

McClelland explained that the city council of Christchurch is gearing towards "new and different promotional programs." The new promotional strategy will "reflect our diverse communities and showcase a vibrant, diverse, modern city that is attractive to residents, domestic and international visitors, new businesses, and skilled migrant workers," McClelland added.

Channel known as The Wizard of New Zealand is carrying the title not just as a fancy label but in all his legal documents. A certificate issued by the director of the Art Gallery in Christchurch labels Channell as "A Living Work of Art." Even in his passport, Channel is labeled as The Wizard.

The Wizard's role in the city of Christchurch became more than just a fanciful marketing ploy. It evolved into something more dear and personal. During the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, The Wizard became instrumental in battling the "capitalists to manipulate private engineers to justify unnecessary demolition." "My early Ph.D. study was in aesthetics; I have been active in arts sponsorship," Channel said during an interview for the 2011 earthquake anniversary.

Other reasons why The Wizard is being axed off the city council's payroll goes beyond activism and anti-government rants. During a current affairs show, Channel speaking as The Wizard, said that he likes to tease women, "they use cunning to get men who are thick," he said.

The Wizard also explained that the reason he never hit women or not yet hit a woman is that they "bruise too easily." "And they'll tell the neighbors and their friends … and then you're in big trouble," he added.

One Twitter user took her agreement with the city council's decision to social media, saying that The Wizard being "canceled is fine." However, other social media users were supportive of The Wizard, insisting that The Wizard still fits into the image of Christchurch, "he always has and always will," one Twitter user said.

"It implies that I am boring and old, but there is nobody else anything like me in Christchurch," Channel said.

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