After more than two decades of service, Ian Brackenbury Channell, the official wizard of New Zealand, was fired from the city council. Channel has been paid $11,300 annually to be the official wizard for the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. His work is “to provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services — as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch.” The city council has recently terminated his contract “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,” said Lynn McClelland, Council Assistant Chief Executive.
Ian Brackenbury was born in England on 4 December 1932. He moved to New Zealand in 1974 and began performing wizardry acts in public places. The council opposed his activities, but the public supported him. In 1972, the New Zealand Art Gallery Directors Association said that he had become a living work of art. In 1990, Mike Moore, the Prime Minister at the time, appointed him as the official “Wizard of New Zealand.”
A spokesperson from the council says that “it wasn’t anything personal.” But back in April, in a current affairs show, Channell commented on women “I love women, I forgive them all the time, I’ve never struck one yet. Never striking a woman because they bruise too easily is the first thing, and they’ll tell the neighbors and their friends.” However, Channel says that “he’ll keep going”, and “it makes no difference.”