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New Zealand's official 'wizard' is laid off after 23 years

By T.K. Randall
October 18, 2021 · Comment icon 8 comments

Brackenbury was a common sight in Christchurch. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Jerryhattric
The Gandalfesque magician had spent more than two decades on the official payroll.
The traditional concept of a wizard - that of a bearded man dressed in a robe and carrying a staff - might seem like something relegated solely to the realm of fantasy fiction.

In New Zealand, however, wizards are actually the real deal... well, sort of.

Meet Ian Brackenbury - a UK-born wizard who, since 1998, has been paid $16,000 NZD a year to play the role of New Zealand's official 'city wizard' (and yes he does have a beard, a robe and a staff.)

A resident of Christchurch, Brackenbury was hired to promote the city through "acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services" and has been seen performing his wizarding arts there ever since.
His appointment to the role happened thanks to an unusual set of circumstances.

During the 70s and 80s, he had frequently performed as a wizard in public spaces until the council took exception to him and asked him to stop. Following a public outcry, however, the Prime Minister of New Zealand at the time decided to offer him the role of the country's official wizard so that his services could benefit everyone across the entire nation.

Now though, 23 years on, it looks as though his official wizarding days are over.

According to a Christchurch council spokesman, the reason for sacking Brackenbury was that wizards simply weren't 'cool' any more (we beg to differ!) and that he didn't fit in with the city's modern image.

Not all is lost, though, as the resident magicman intends to continue making appearances, even if he is no longer doing so in an official capacity.

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by aztek 3 years ago
lol, diverse direction uh, lol.  i can't wait to see who they replace him with.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by godnodog 3 years ago
I di I wouldn't mind doing it, but probably people would think I'm an Orc and start beachslap me
Comment icon #3 Posted by OverSword 3 years ago
That's not the reason why we don't strike women, (or other people) but it's true.  Women generally bruise more easily than men.  Something about a common iron deficiency, right? I hate that kind of language.  It means he's too white and too male.  Clearly that part is racist.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Future_Ikann 3 years ago
Kinda sucks for the guy, he's in his 80's now... they could have just waited him out.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Golden Duck 3 years ago
So much support for the government to continue spending taxes in this bloke.  Must be commies.
Comment icon #6 Posted by OverSword 3 years ago
Wizards commonly live 300 years. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Kleng 3 years ago
So there's a job opening? Where do I sign up?
Comment icon #8 Posted by aztek 3 years ago
lol, if you have to ask, you have no wizard bone in your body, not qualified. lol

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