NZ council to stop paying The Wizard $16,000 a year after 23 years on the payroll

The Christchurch City Council will stop paying The Wizard $16,000 a year after more than two decades on the public payroll to "provide acts of wizardry" for the city.

NZ council to stop paying The Wizard $16,000 a year after 23 years on the payroll

The Christchurch City Council will stop paying a performer known as The Wizard $16,000 a year after more than two decades on the public payroll to "provide acts of wizardry" for the city.

The Wizard of New Zealand, also known as Ian Brackenbury Channell, said the council had decided to stop paying him because he did not fit with the modern image of the city.

Over his 23 years on the payroll, the council has paid him a total of $368,000.

READ MORE:

"They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination,'' he said.

"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."

Council assistant chief executive Lynn McClelland said the final payment under the contract with The Wizard, which started in 1998, would be made 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."

She said it was a "difficult decision to end this contract".

"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."

READ MORE:

The council's contract with The Wizard called for him "to provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like-services – as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch".

"Since 2017, this contract has been administered by ChristchurchNZ, when it took over city promotional work from the council."

The Wizard said he would keep up his regular appearances at Christchurch's Arts Centre, chatting to tourists and locals.

"It makes no difference. I will still keep going. They will have to kill me to stop me."

He said he was disappointed that he was no longer being used to help promote the city.

"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."

The Wizard moved to Christchurch from Australia in 1974 and almost immediately attracted headlines for his appearances in full costume in Cathedral Square and his eccentric publicity stunts.

After the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, he played a prominent role in the wave of protest that greeted the demolition of hundreds of heritage buildings.

An exhibition of his life and work opens at the Arts Centre on Saturday.

Ironically, the exhibition is supported by a council grant.

This story originally appeared on and has been republished with permission.

Source : 9 News More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

Woman too 'petrified' to leave home after being sexually assaulted while walking

Police are searching for a man after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in Melbourne's north.

Woman too 'petrified' to leave home after being sexually assaulted while walking

A woman has been left "petrified" to leave her home after she was sexually assaulted as she went for a walk in Melbourne's north last week.

A 25-year-old disability worker was walking along a track on Kirkham Drive in Greenvale about 7.45pm on October 13 when the assault occurred.

A man started to follow the woman as she walked past Kinloch Grove, heading towards Somerton Road, according to police.

READ MORE:

They suspect the man may have loitered in the area for some time before grabbing the woman, who had headphones on, from behind.

He then allegedly sexually assaulted her and ran off along Kinloch Grove.

She sprinted after him but lost track of him on Castlehill Avenue.

The alleged offender is yet to be found.

He is described as being aged in his late teens to early twenties, with a tanned complexion.

He was wearing a black and green jacket, a black t-shirt, grey pants with a stripe and black shoes.

Police have released CCTV of a man who they believe may be able to assist with their enquiries.

The woman, who is too afraid to be identified, doorknocked homes in the area to get CCTV footage of the man to give to police.

She told 9News she was "very fearful" and "petrified" to leave her house.

"I used to go on a walk every day after work," she said.

"I was just doing such a simple task.

"I just don't want this to happen to anyone else."

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Source : 9 News More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.