21 May 2011

Wellywood sign confirmed

3:16 pm on 21 May 2011

A sign announcing to visitors to Wellington they are in Wellywood is to be erected on the hills in the suburb of Miramar.

Wellington International Airport Ltd says it has looked at several alternatives to the sign, which emulates the famous sign in the Hollywood Hills.

Resource consent was obtained in February 2010, but the idea was shelved in March 2010 due to public opposition, while alternatives were sought.

WIAL says the eight x 30 metre structure should take about 20 weeks to build and expects to have it in place by September.

The company says it wants to convey the concepts Film, Wellington and Global to visitors.


Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, who opposed the idea initially, says she is now resigned to it.

Clemenger BBDO executive creative director Philip Andrew says the sign suggests Wellington has nothing to offer but its film industry.

He considers the sign is ''out of sync'' with the city's image and he would rather see the hillside left as it is.

But airport chief executive Steve Fitzgerald says people who hate the sign are taking it too seriously.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which has copyright control over the Hollywood sign, says it has revived its original complaint and sent the matter back to its lawyers.

WIAL says it's had legal advice and is confident it is within its right to build it.