I am a big fan of New Zealand and of its most resilient city Christchurch. However, I was disappointed to learn this week that the Christchurch city council has eliminated the job of official Wizard and axed the legendary Ian Brackenbury Channell who has served as the official Wizard of Christchurch, New Zealand since 1998. Prior to assuming the post as official Wizard, Channel taught literature and served in the Canadian army.
According to his contract, the wizard’s duties are “to provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like-services — as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch.” I never ran across the Wizard when I was visiting Christchurch, but his influence seemed to be working since it’s a magical place.
However, after 23 years of successful wizarding the city council has decided to terminate the relationship. Council Assistant Chief Executive Lynn McClelland 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, and informing him that we are bringing our formal contractual arrangement to a close.”
In response, the 89 year old Wizard decried what he sees as cancel culture, saying of the Christchurch City Council:
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.
The video below reflects a happier relationship between the Wizard and the previous city government.
NB: If the video does not appear in your email, please click on the short url to bring up a complete post.