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Friday, 18 January 2019 08:57 am

Wellywood sign (or not) – you get to decide

Aug 31st, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Lead Story, News

SURE SIGN: The foundation structures now on Wexford Hill awaiting...something.

THE mystery over what’s going on above Wellington airport is over – a temporary “All Blacks” sign is being set up for the Rugby World Cup.

The sign will stay until a decision is made about a permanent one.

Wellington airport and an “advisory” panel insist “Wellywood” is not a done deal.

They have enlisted the help of the Dominion Post to run a competition that invites the public to come up with ideas.

In a front page story, the DomPo has announced that Wellywood haters who slammed the airport’s proposed sign for being uninventive are being given the chance to come up with something better.

The DomPo story says:

There will still be a sign – but whether it’s Wellywood or something else is now in Wellington’s hands.

Wellington International Airport is today announcing a public ideas drive and voting scheme to decide what will go up on the Miramar cutting.

The process will allow anyone to submit a proposal, so long as it can be built within the $80,000 budget and resource consent restrictions.

“This is Wellington’s chance to have their say as to the final sign that will be installed,” airport chief commercial officer Matt Clarke said yesterday.

The process follows the public backlash about the Wellywood sign, first announced by the airport last year. After a consultation period through Facebook, the airport announced earlier this year that it was going ahead with Wellywood, prompting opponents to organise protests at what they labelled the uncreative sign.

Other ideas suggested by the public included a sculpture of a weta, a wind turbine and signs saying Middle-Earth or Wellington.

Eventually the airport backed down and an independent panel, headed by Greater Wellington regional council chairwoman Fran Wilde, was created to devise a public process to decide what to build.

The panel will choose up to eight finalists from public suggestions, which will then be put to a public vote, facilitated by The Dominion Post and dompost.co.nz. The top two ideas will then be pitted against Wellywood in a final binding vote.

Ms Wilde said the final installation should be one the city was proud of. “We want it to be totally owned by the public, so we needed to have the opportunity for the public to put forward ideas and the opportunity for people to tell us what were the better ideas.”

The panel had been assured by the airport that the public decision would be final, she said. “They’ve agreed that whatever comes out the other end will go up … If somebody feels like they do or don’t like Wellywood, then they had better vote.”

Mr Clarke said the process would show that the public’s opinion was important to the airport by leaving the decision with the panel and the public. “We just want a fantastic installation on the hill.”

He encouraged people to be creative and not be too hindered by thoughts of the resource consent or budget, because most concepts could be adjusted to fit within the parameters. The installation could be a word, image or design.

Former airport chief executive Steve Fitzgerald, who received criticism for the way the Wellywood decision was handled, left earlier this month.

His departure was not related to the sign, and he had been involved with the establishment of the panel, Mr Clarke said.

The airport had also been in discussions with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which had suggested a Wellywood sign could breach copyright. Mr Clarke said that, if Wellywood was chosen, there was nothing stopping it from being built.

RUSH WORK: Working on a Sunday, workmen hang off ropes to set up the foundations.

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2 comments
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  1. I think the sign should read AOTEAROA wellington is the capital city after all!!!!!!!

  2. The name should be associated with wellington and the successful Brand name of the area and region

    Sign shoud say

    Absolutly Positively Wellington

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