Wellington, March 10 NZPA - Wellington mayoral candidate Jack Yan says he has dobbed in the city's plans for a "Wellywood" sign near the airport at Miramar to two Los Angeles bodies with intellectual rights over the iconic "Hollywood" sign being imitated here.
Wellington Airport said on Monday it would in June put the sign on steep hillside land it owns next to the Miramar cutting.
It would be 28m wide and 3.5m high, and Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast has said local movie mogul Sir Peter Jackson is adamant it should be "an exact copy" of the Hollywood sign.
A resource consent has been granted to Wellington Airport but Mr Yan said in a statement he has contacted the Hollywood Sign Trust, and found two bodies which have intellectual property rights over Californian sign: the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and Global Icons.
"If we are going to erect a second-rate copy, we had better ask the guys who own the original what they think," said Mr Yan, a designer specialising in typography who publishes an international fashion magazine.
He contacted the Americans on Tuesday night and said they were "not happy".
The issue of whether the Wellywood sign was just a humorous reference and or an attempt to pass off Wellington as Hollywood was now an internal matter for the licensing body that oversaw the Los Angeles sign, he said.
But Wellington City Council, which owns 34 percent of the airport, should not have willingly complied with erecting the sign, he said.
"This is totally against the image of Wellington. We are creative, and we certainly don't need to copy,'" Mr Yan said.
Ms Prendergast could not be reached for comment.
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