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WATERCARE FIASCO


WEATHER MODIFICATION or publicity stunt?

COMMENT:  Watercare PR firm hires... a Wizard??? White Man's version of a "Rain Dance" during the '94 water crisis. A failure - check April-May rainfall.
 
Auckland - a City Ruled by Fear
... in April 1994 the Wizard was approached to perform by a public relations firm in Auckland who represented Watercare Services.... 
So...where's the rain then?
The Wizard pointed out that he would not intrude on other peoples territory without being invited by the legitimate authorities and asked the firm to arrange an invitation from the four city Councils that administer Auckland. Only one city council, North Shore, showed any interest, the others just did not want to know. The Wizard received a delightful letter of invitation from North Shore (with a charming little poem) looking forward to his visit and informing him that no doubt lots of children would love to be present. The date was set for late May, unless of course it rained before then.
Then, a day or two before his departure, like a thunderbolt out of the blue, the Wizard received a letter from the North Shore city council regretting they had to cancel their invitation...
The talkback radio stations, that are very popular in Auckland, were dominated for several days by a very serious debate as to whether the Wizard should be allowed into Auckland to do his rain dance or not...

A Yankee Wizard in the Secular City
Then a fax arrived from an unknown wizard in a small town just north of Auckland offering to help in winning the spiritual war that was raging there. Naturally dubious of the credentials of a wizard he had never heard of, the Wizard made further enquiries.
Wizard Ron was a Yank living in Silverdale where he and his wife Paula, a Kiwi, ran a small shop selling Mexican silver. He was on good terms with the district mayor and local businessmens' association. He believed it would bring credit (in both senses of the word) if the Wizard were invited, all expenses paid, to perform his "wicked" rain dance in Silverdale.
The mayor of the Rodney District sent the invitation and a few days later, in a blaze of media publicity, the Wizard arrived to dance in the main street of tiny Silverdale assisted by his new Yankee chum.

A Wizard Fly-Over
To ensure success a helicopter was chartered to fly the Wizard over Auckland city whilst he made suitable gestures and chants to encourage precipitation. At the same time his voice was broadcast over a local radio station. He urged the population down below to look up and, when they saw his plane, to demonstrate their support by doing a few dance steps or their disapproval by shaking their fists.
The Wizard then returned to the South Island to do some tourist magic for the ski fields in Queenstown.

[Exerpt from the Wizard of New Zealand  website]
© ArchWizard of New Zealand 1997.

 
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