Headline: Welly gets the sign-off
Sub-heading: But not everyone’s happy – are we a city of try-hard followers?
In the months of September and October this year, New Zealand is hosting the prestigious Rugby World Cup. Several matches, including quarter finals, are being held in Wellington. Wellington is also the home of a burgeoning film industry, the most notable films being the Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.
The Wellington City Council announced last year that the sign ‘Wellywood’ in the style of the famous Hollywood sign was likely to grace the hillside beside Wellington Airport – a hill which also lies at the entrance to Peter Jackson’s Camperdown Studios and Park Road Post Production facility.
When the idea was announced there was a massive outcry from Wellington city ratepayers. Branding experts even spoke out against the idea saying that it had the potential to do a lot of damage to our international reputation.
In today’s paper, film director Geoff Murphy said:
“It is copying a foreign, bullshit glamour idea and it’s the pits of what people can aspire to.”
The article in Wellington’s Dominion Post goes on to inform us that the sign will be 3.5 metros high and 28m wide and is understood to be costing several hundred thousand dollars. Wellington International Airport, which owns the site, has decided in all its wisdom to ignore the public backlash generated last year and to proceed with their plans to install the sign.
Needless to say, I’m dead against the idea.
We market ourselves as New Zealand’s cultural capital, a city full of vibrant life, creativity and innovation. Copying something so famous with all that’s associated with it, hardly endorses our claims of cutting-edge originality.
Not only is it a cop-out, it’s crass and boring …
I can’t wait for the inflamed anger to follow. Headlines this week are going to be very interesting.