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Council To Stop Paying Wizard $16,000 A Year After 23 Years On The Payroll

Rebecca Shepherd

| Last updated 

Council To Stop Paying Wizard $16,000 A Year After 23 Years On The Payroll

The Christchurch City Council has decided to stop paying a 'wizard' his usual salary which he has been receiving for around 23 years.

The Wizard of New Zealand has been paid AUD $16,000 (£8,500/USD $11,700) a year but now he apparently doesn't fit with the modern image of the city.

Credit: agefotostock/Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: agefotostock/Alamy Stock Photo

The wizard, who is also known as Ian Brackenbury Channell, was on the public payroll for providing 'acts of wizardry' to the city.

Speaking to Stuff about the termination of his payments, he said: "They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination.

"They are not thinking of ways to promote Christchurch overseas. They are just projecting an image of bureaucrats drinking lattes on the boulevard.

"Their image of Christchurch is nothing to do with the authentic heritage of the city. I am the original image of Christchurch."

Credit: Lakeview Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Lakeview Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Explaining things from their perspective, Lynn McClelland, council assistant chief executive, said that the final payment will go through in December.

Ms McClelland said: "The council has met with The Wizard and sent him a letter thanking him for his services to Christchurch over the past decades, and informing him that we are bringing our formal contractual arrangement to a close."

She said it was a 'difficult decision', adding: "The promotional landscape in Ōtautahi Christchurch is changing, with new and different promotional programmes that will increasingly 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."

Credit: Jon Bower New Zealand/Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Jon Bower New Zealand/Alamy Stock Photo

The Wizard - who has been paid since 1998 - outlined his plans going forward, explaining: "It makes no difference. I will still keep going. They will have to kill me to stop me."

This means that he will still be making regular appearances at Christchurch's Arts Centre as well as chatting to locals and tourists.

He went on: "I would like to know what the reason is for it.

"They are not making use of my worldwide fame. I am disappointed they haven't made use of The Wizard as part of the promotion of Christchurch.

"I don't like being cancelled."

Hey, no one does, mate!

Featured Image Credit: imageBROKER/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: New Zealand, Community, Weird

Rebecca Shepherd
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