Ian Brackenbury has been paid a solid $16,000 NZD (roughly 11,300 USD) per year to be the official wizard for the city of Christchurch in New Zealand.
The concept of a “city wizard” is a bit wild, but it mostly boils down to Brackenbury acting as sort of a living tourist attraction, albeit one that’s wizard-themed. The Guardian says that the Christchurch city council had contracted Brackenbury to promote their city through “acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services.
When the city council tried stopping him, the public protested (because let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good magic man) and New Zealand’s prime minister finally relented in 1990, asking Brackenbury if he’d consider being New Zealand’s official Wizard.
“I am concerned that your wizardry is not at the disposal of the entire nation,” Moore wrote at the time “I suggest therefore that you should urgently consider my suggestion that you become the Wizard of New Zealand, Antarctica, and relevant offshore areas.”
“No doubt there will be implications in the area of spells, blessings, curses, and other supernatural matters that are beyond the competence of mere Prime Ministers,” Moore added.
Brackenbury graciously accepted, and the rest, as they say, is history.
A Christchurch council spokesperson told the Guardian that it wasn’t anything personal—it was just that, well, wizards weren’t that cool anymore, and weren’t a part of the “vibrant, diverse, modern city” image that Christchurch wanted to promote to tourists and residents.
Brackenbury told the Guardian that he’d still be keeping up his usual wizardry over in the Christchurch Arts Centre for anyone that came by, even if he wasn’t on the city’s payroll anymore. Canceling the contract, he said, “implies that I am boring and old, but there is nobody else anything like me in Christchurch.”
Original Source: Gizmodo