New Zealand: Christchurch sacks its Wizard




Daily Mail Online@MailOnline

New Zealand’s official WIZARD is fired after joking about hitting women: British 88-year-old loses £8,200-a-year role he has held for 23 years and says he has been ‘cancelled’

  • Ian Brackenbury Channell, 88, was named the city’s official wizard since 1982
  • Since 1998, he has been paid £8,200 annually to perform ‘acts of magic’ for city
  • In April, he made several off-colour remarks about women on a television show
  • Christchurch council ended his contract and said it wanted to be more modern
  • Channell has vowed to continue his duties, telling local media: ‘They’ll have to kill me to stop me’

By Charlotte Mitchell For Mailonline

Published: 15:07 BST, 15 October 2021 | Updated: 15:46 BST, 15 October 2021

A city in New Zealand has cast its official wizard from the public payroll following 23 years of service after joking about hitting women.

London-born Ian Brackenbury Channell, 88, was paid NZ$16,000 (£8,200) each year to perform ‘acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services’ to promote Christchurch under a contract inked in 1998.

The city said it ended Channell’s contract because it wanted to go in a more modern and diverse direction.

But the wizard himself claimed to local media that he was being ‘cancelled’ because he no longer fitted ‘the vibes’ of the city, describing himself as a ‘provocateur’.

‘They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination,” he told news website, Stuff

In April, Channell told a comedy current affairs show that he would ‘never strike a woman because they bruise too easily’ – a remark which drew considerable criticism. 

‘I love women, I forgive them all the time, I’ve never struck one yet. Never strike a woman because they bruise too easily is the first thing, and they’ll tell the neighbours and their friends… and then you’re in big trouble,’ he said.

Earlier in the show, Channell has said he enjoyed teasing women by telling them they were devious, and said ‘they use cunning to get men who are thick’.   

A council spokesperson told The Guardian that Channell had been sent a letter thanking him for his service and informing that his contract was terminated. 

Lynn McClelland said Channell would ‘forever be a part of [Christchurch’s] history’. 

Despite his termination of employment, the wizard told Stuff he will continue carrying out his duties.

‘I will still keep going. They will have to kill me to stop me,’ he said.



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