New Zealand town removes 88-year-old official wizard from public payroll

Looks like he’ll be gone for more than one spell.

A city in New Zealand has withdrawn its official assistant from its public payroll after more than two decades of service.

The Guardian reports how Christchurch came up with the idea of ​​instituting a state-appointed wizard to promote the city with “acts of witchcraft and other wizard-like services”. The role has been held by Ian Brackenbury Channell, 88, for around 23 years, until he made questionable comments about the fairer sex.

“I love women, I forgive them all the time, never hit one before,” Channel said during a segment of the news show, New Zealand Today. “Never hit a woman for bruising too easily, that’s the first thing, and they’ll tell the neighbors and their friends… and then you’ll be in big trouble.”

Needless to say, it was Channell who got “big trouble” for this comment, while also calling the devious women who “use trickery to get thick men.”

As such, Channell’s role as Christchurch’s official wizard resulted in a disappearance, along with the accompanying $ 16,000 a year paycheck. During his time on the city’s payroll, he had received a total of $ 368,000.

NPR details how Christchurch is actually the only city on the planet to have its own official wizard since the 1980s. Channell himself believes he was fired because he did not fit the new modernity of the city, calling officials a “bunch of bureaucrats with no imagination.”

The same NPR article details how Christchurch officials made send Channell a thank-you letter for his long-standing service – which included things like rain dances – and confirms that his last paycheck will arrive in December.

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