New Zealand city council lays off only state-appointed wizard in the world

New Zealand city council lays off only state-appointed wizard in the world
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A New Zealand city council has laid off the only state-appointed wizard in the world after years of service.

The city of Christchurch has laid off the wizard, whose real name is Ian Brackenbury Channell, after 23 years of service to the city, The Guardian reported

Each year the city paid him $11,280, with Channell earning $368,000 on a tax-free status.

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Council spokesperson Lynn McClelland said the wizard was sent a letter thanking him and saying he will “forever be a part of [Christchurch’s] history.”

The wizard has been a big tourist attraction for the city, with the New Zealand Art Gallery Directors Association declaring him a living work of art in 1982.

However, comments he made about women have caused his contract with the city to end, according to The Guardian. 

“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 neighbors and their friends … and then you’re in big trouble,” the wizard said in April on "New Zealand Today."

The wizard has not been present in the city as much in recent years and said the council wouldn’t listen to suggestions to improve tourism. 

The wizard said he was told he doesn’t fit “the vibes” of the city anymore. 

“It’s just they don’t like me because they are boring old bureaucrats and everyone likes me and no one likes them,’’ he said.

He plans to continue interacting with the public despite the ending contract.