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           Home >  Culture  > Wizard  :

Part The Second - The Stolen
Image, The Mt. Cook Group
And Air New Zealand

- The Wizard Of New Zealand - 8/5/97

“The ongoing adventure of a lone cybernetic wizard versus the Mount Cook Group, a subsidiary of Air New Zealand, in this narrative, an evil multinational corporation. The Wizard of New Zealand tells the story himself. If you have not already—first read Part The First

The Storm Breaks
On my way to Tamworth I called in to the Mt. Cook Group offices in Sydney and met their local manager Jim Crosbie. I explained the situation and he listened patiently but explained I would have to sort it all out at head office Sydney At Night in Christchurch. I met the office staff, posed for their cameras and was introduced to the Sydney manager of Air New Zealand. We got on famously and I was taken out to a delicious dinner by the Mt Cook "suits".

Another disturbing co-incidence; on the day that I arrived in Sydney a long article appeared in "The Australian", the national daily, covering the story of the opposition in Auckland to my rain dance there, the timely intervention of the Yankee wizard, Ron, and our final victory over the fundamentalists.

The next day, after an interview with Ita Buttrose on 2GB, and a speech at "The Rocks" to a bemused crowd and a mass of journalists, I took off for Tamworth. With me were a cameraman and a reporter from TV3, the rival network to TVNZ, who had come with me across the Tasman. They were sure that whatever happened it was going to be a damned good news story.

At sunbaked Tamworth airport someone thrust a card into my hand in the crush that greeted me. Yet another bloody co-incidence. It was a greeting from "The Black Spider", my legendary enemy when I was the elected Dictator of the Students' Union at NSW University 25 years earlier. See The Four Humours and The Fun Revolution elsewhere on this site. I had heard nothing from him since and I have still never met him.

Rain Dance After lunch with the Mayor and Shire President, I duly performed my rain dance in a parched field before some sceptical farmers, interested but cautious Aboriginal Elders, and the TV3 camera crew.

The day after my return to Sydney the Mt. Cook staff member responsible took me round some of the travel agents involved in the promotion. I observed large posters in the windows of travel shops and T-shirts all bearing my image under the unintentionally postmodern phrase, "New Zealand: so Real it's Unreal".

I also found out there had been large ads in the daily Sydney Morning Herald with the same copy. This was a really big promotion and I estimated it must have cost between somewhere near half a million dollars on advertising.

During these visits excited travel shop staff communicated to me that huge Magic black storm clouds had appeared over Tamworth and lightning was scaring the locals. As it happened my arrival in Sydney had been heralded by an usually dramatic storm in Sydney the day before.

I had to leave for New Zealand next morning so it was not until I got back home to Christchurch that I got the news from the TV3 newsroom. It was "pissing down" in Tamworth. Film was shown of the downpour on TV that night to awestruck New Zealanders who had been desperately trying to kid themselves that my previous three consecutive rain dance successes had just been "happy accidents".

What more could the Mt Cook Group management want for their campaign. It was a dream come true. They had hung the whole thing on magic and mystery and a real wizard and lo and behold he had just appeared in Sydney and performed a miraculous drought breaking rain dance in outback New South Wales!

Continue on to Part The Third...

Other examples of post-modern wizardry can be found on the Wizard's Home Page.

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