Talk:The Wizard of New Zealand

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...His maiden speech in Cathedral Square Christchurch, New Zealand on 17th September 1974 was greeted with derision and eggs : You can't just start like that! I dare say that most non-NZers (myself included) won't have heard of him. Who is he? What does he do? Where did he come from? Why was he making a speech?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Conversion script (talkcontribs) 15:51, 25 February 2002 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also known as The Wizard of Christchurch at one stage. -- Jonathan Ah Kit—Preceding undated comment added at 04:02, 22 March 2003 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who is he? What does he do? Where did he come from? Why was he making a speech?,, we're not sure if even he knows the answer to any of those questions, but certainly he's not telling anyone else if he does. He will however tell you a lot of other things. I suggest turning up to Cathederal Square, Christchurch about lunchtime on a fine day, preferrably just after someone public has said something stupid, and if you see an elderly bearded man with the black cloak, black pointy hat and step ladder, ask him :-).—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:44, 21 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I deleted the incorrect statement that he remains the only NZer ever prosecuted for not filling in a census form. I know some others myself - I'm a member of the Libertarianz, and we burn forms every census. The late William Weddell, first Objectivist in New Zealand, was prosecuted many years ago, and while Lindsay Perigo had a radio show he was prosecuted (and Weddell paid the fine for him). Amygdala 06:18, 25 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article, after three re-readings, leaves me with no clear idea what on earth it is about. Is it a New Zealand in-joke with Wikipedia as the forum? Not really appropriate, surely? How about some sources, some encyclopaedia-worthy material, and less attribution of meteorological effects to supernatural causes (so far as i can tell)? Endie 11:52, 16 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, as far as I am aware he does exist. He is, of course, a joke, but a quite well-known one. —Nightstallion (?) 19:52, 4 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Wizard is exactly everything that has been stated in the article: A living, breathing, extremely intelligent academic who dedicated his life to making fun of society's and academia's status quo. He is doing this with style and considerable dedication and over the decades has become an deligtful icon in NZ's otherwise sometimes joyles society. Dpilat 11:03, 11 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The awesome thing about The Wizard is almost every new zealander I've met swears up and down he really is a wizard. He's NZ's greatest IRL troll, and he's a gorgeous old dude. (talk) 05:20, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Definitely a joke. Whatever New Zealanders swear, there would be very few that actually believe he is a real wizard. My recollection of him in the 1970s is as a supreme orator with powerful lungs, hugely entertaining, promulgating views that were pro-royalist, pro-British, pro-Church of England (which he sometimes represented as the perfect religion, at other times as the best of a very bad bunch), anti-feminist, anti-fundamentalist, anti-work, anti-politics of all shades, and an astonishingly courageous man. I once saw a muscular and bare-chested young Māori, offended by something the Wizard had said, front up to him with fists raised, challenging him to fight. The Wizard turned 90 degrees, so that the man was to one side of him, still physically threatening him, and proceeded to tell the crowd at the top of his voice what a complete idiot the man was. He carried it off superbly—the man never hit him.
The views he expressed on any given day would often be contradicted by the views he expressed a day or two later. He had a habit of pausing and asking the crowd, "What do you think of it so far?" To which the crowd was expected to respond, "Rubbish!" Koro Neil (talk) 16:23, 1 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He also seems to be quite kind, when speaking in interviews, which you can view on his Youtube-channel. (talk) 12:15, 6 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Australia has not had a "Social Security ID", so what could that be? Centrelink would have been the Commonwealth Employment Services at that time. Ash (talk) 19:39, 19 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

removal of home page[edit]

The Wizard's home page isn't meaningful (it's a directory listing with a cgi-bin in it and nothing else) so I've removed it. I apologize if this offends people. If the Wizard's page is supposed to be a directory listing with a cgi-bin in it, please feel free to revert my changes. --I. Neschek | talk 00:41, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

source for edits + confession[edit]

I knew the Wizard for a few years at Melbourne University in the early 1970s and was the anonymous author "Zero" of a pamphlet "The Divine Nature of the Wizard Scientifically Demonstrated (A Mathematical Proof)", 1972, 24 pages (15 cents, 20 cents autographed). Portions of the pamphlet appeared later under different names, and a barely-comprehensible fragment is visible here. McKay (talk) 07:15, 22 October 2008 (UTC) I read the pamphlet at the time and was impressed....what a pity I didnt keep it. When in Australia his eccentric conservative view were actually more coherent than the article suggests. He appeared at least once on a prime time news program debating the monarchy. More rigorous sourcing would be good, he is in fact a figure of some significance. Jeremy (talk) 11:13, 25 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Intro tag[edit]

Now that the intro has been rewritten, can the tag be removed? Schwede66 (talk) 23:03, 21 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In the sentence "Unfortunately whilst on tour in Melbourne in 1970 WUS in Australia was taken over by political extremists who cut him off without any explanation or communication," it's not clear to the average reader - well, not clear to me, anyway, what "WUS" stands for. There's no record in Wikipedia of WUS being used as an abbreviation for the University of New South Wales; in fact, the only WP entry I can find for WUS is Nanping Wuyishan Airport. Can someone clear this up? --Jay (Histrion) (talkcontribs) 14:16, 31 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would presume WUS stands for World University Service who were the ones backing him to tour Australia promoting his revitalisation movement as was [1] and is mentioned in the sentence immediately preceding your one "After travelling to the World University Service headquarters in Geneva he received their backing to travel round Australian universities to promote his new revitalisation movement." Nil Einne (talk) 02:17, 18 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
P.S. Thought of changing it to say World University Service but since it's not directly refed and I can't be sure decided to leave it be Nil Einne (talk) 17:15, 18 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

His left-wing head of department[edit]

Is left-wing a special area of "head of department" if so perhaps a link would be in order as it is somewhat misleading, because it appears as an unnecessary speculation of political views. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:40, 31 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Barry Smith[edit]

I notice the Barry Smith info has been removed. I will have to look up a ref some time, but basically the evangelist blamed the wizard for an insect plague on NZ.--MacRusgail (talk) 16:52, 1 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Major referencing work needed[edit]

This is a fun article and has true merit as he is a real person of note, however as it stands huge if not majority portions of this article could technically just be deleted for lack of referencing or citations because it is otherwise confusing. An example would be the aforementioned WUS section that references political extremist. What political extremists? Are these people sourced as political extremists? That's just an example. I am not familiar enough with this man to feel the urge to wade through it all, but I believe this could be a truly nice little article with the cleanup. tyvm Pudge MclameO (talk) 13:20, 3 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


when did he first proclaim himself a Wizard? the article makes mention of no transition. -- (talk) 01:10, 25 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Migration to New Zealand in 1974?[edit]

In this article and elsewhere it is stated that the Wizard migrated to New Zealand in 1974. I am wondering whether this is actually correct. I began studying at the Melbourne State College on the University of Melbourne campus in 1974 and I remember the Wizard from that time. As far as I can now recall he was still at Melbourne University for at least a couple of years beyond 1974 (unless he was replaced by another "Wizard" which seems unlikely). Maybe the Wizard's aging memories are more unreliable than mine? Any way of someone checking this? Thanks, Afterwriting (talk) 03:48, 11 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was at Otago University, Dunedin during 1975 to 1979 and this Wizard visited us a few times - sorry, can't pinpoint the year. He must have moved to Christchurch in the mid-to-late 1970s. Ash (talk) 19:36, 19 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually he was replaced in Melbourne for a while by a couple of his apprentice wizards who kept on doing the same sort of thing for a few years or decades after he left. The British Imperial Conservative Party lived on in Australia. As a player in the radical political subculture at the time of the Vietnam War there was I think a bit more too him than the article suggests. Jeremy (talk) 11:08, 25 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I don't think that the wizard can be called a politician. What has been omitted is actor - he has had roles in several films, including Starlight Hotel.Royalcourtier (talk) 00:40, 11 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wizard of New Zealand[edit]

Mike Moore did not appoint him the official Wizard of New Zealand. Not only does a PM not have the power to make any such appointment - in fun or otherwise - but there was no actual purported act of appointment. Just a press release.Royalcourtier (talk) 03:47, 20 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:The Wizard of New Zealand/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Knowing The Wizard personally, I think the article gives a nice, if rather short summary of his most important achievements. No concerns here.Dpilat 11:05, 11 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Substituted at 18:46, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

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article name "Wizard of New Zealand" or "The Wizard of New Zealand"[edit]

i know for most this is a matter of semantics but seeing as his legal name is now "Wizard, The" wouldn't the page be more accurate to be labeled "The Wizard of New Zealand"? the Honorific is often able to be overlooked in other articles but this should follow the full legal name approach which in this instance places him as Mr The Wizard of New Zealand (QSM)

before i jump in for this change wanted to see if anyone had an objection as this is such an usual usage of it. part of me feels not even worth time except that i am a stickler for formal names online. (talk) 12:10, 18 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

These things are hardly ever uncontroversial, so I shall turn your suggestion into a formal move request. Schwede66 21:08, 19 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 19 April 2020[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Moved buidhe 05:24, 1 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wizard of New ZealandThe Wizard of New Zealand – As you can see in the talk page item above, an IP editor has suggested to change the article title as shown. The editor's rationale is:

i know for most this is a matter of semantics but seeing as his legal name is now "Wizard, The" wouldn't the page be more accurate to be labeled "The Wizard of New Zealand"?

the Honorific is often able to be overlooked in other articles but this should follow the full legal name approach which in this instance places him as Mr The Wizard of New Zealand (QSM)

before i jump in for this change wanted to see if anyone had an objection as this is such an usual usage of it. part of me feels not even worth time except that i am a stickler for formal names online.

I tend to agree with the editor. I also note the following from WP:NCTHE, which the article currently does not comply with (but should if the above argument is accepted): "If the definite or indefinite article would be capitalized in running text, then include it at the beginning of the Wikipedia article name." I further note that the proposed article title was in use from 2002 to 2007, when it got moved because "The" should normally not part of an article title. Schwede66 21:08, 19 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support per nomination and per WP:COMMONNAME. All sources refer to subject as "The Wizard", rather than "Wizard". The definite article represents subject's standing as a unique personality and is part of his official title, modeled upon the well-established form, "The Wizard of Oz". —Roman Spinner (talkcontribs) 01:16, 20 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support' per nomination.--Smerus (talk) 20:12, 20 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose per WP:THE. I see no evidence whatsoever on a Google search that the definite article is usually capitalised in running text. It's "the Wizard of New Zealand" except at the beginning of sentences. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:45, 22 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment I might point out that the IP editor isn't making things up when they say talk about the legal name. The Wizard has scans of official documents on his website including his NZ driver's licence, his English passport, and his 2009 Queen's Service Medal certificate (2009 Birthday Honours). Schwede66 19:28, 22 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. I see both capitalizations in running text, but the fact that his legal name contains "The" tips me in that direction. -- King of ♠ 15:09, 28 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Reason for no longer paying him[edit]

"This decision was reportedly due to The Wizard's criticism of Christchurch's new tourism strategy and controversial remarks about women."

This should be removed as completely unsupported at the cited link, there's been absolutely no suggestion of that from the council at all. Completely baseless speculation. It's more than likely just because he doesn't spend as much time in Christchurch, or doing his thing anymore, because of his age. (talk) 02:02, 18 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually in line with WP:BLP I've removed that, the linked reference cited The Guardian as the source of that assertion, but looking at the article they linked to support that The Guardian made no claim whatsoever linking those comments to his no longer being paid. (talk) 02:17, 19 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]