Christchurch's iconic Wizard sacked from council role

After two decades, the Christchurch City Council will stop paying The Wizard $16,000 a year to "provide acts of wizardry" for the city.  

The Wizard of New Zealand, otherwise known as Ian Brackenbury Channell, told Stuff the council had decided to stop paying him because he didn't fit the modern image of the city. 

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

The Wizard has been on the public payroll for 23 years, the council paying him a total of $368,000.

"They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination," The Wizard told Stuff. 

Council assistant chief executive Lynn McClelland said The Wizard's final payment under would be in December. 

"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." 

McClelland told Stuff it was a difficult decision to terminate his contract. 

The Wizard said the council wasn't considering international tourism and "just projecting an image of bureaucrat drinking lattes on the boulevard"

But the termination of The Wizard's contract won't stop his acts of wizardry, saying they'd have to kill him first.