A prominent retailer, business leaders, a politician, and a protester are all on a panel to find suitable alternatives to the proposed Wellywood sign.
Wellington International Airport is expected to make public the names of those on the panel today.
However, it is understood the panel will have seven members, led by Greater Wellington regional council chairwoman Fran Wilde.
It also includes Wellywood opponent Andy Boreham, who led about 90 vehicles in a drive-by protest around the airport which, in part, made the airport company reconsider the sign.
Others understood to be on the panel are Kirkcaldie & Stains managing director John Milford, Gibson Group company director Dave Gibson, Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce president Richard Stone, Wellington Tenths Trust chief executive Liz Mellish and Enterprise Miramar Peninsula chairman Allan Probert. The panel is due to meet for the first time on Thursday.
Wellington Airport has consent for a 3.5 metre high Wellywood sign stretching 28m across hillside land it owns near the Miramar Cutting.
It announced plans for the sign about 16 months ago but backed down after huge public opposition and said it would consider other options. But the airport said last month it would proceed with the Wellywood sign, which it wanted in place for the start of the Rugby World Cup in September.
Objections that the sign was a tacky copycat version of the Hollywood sign led to a massive backlash – including more than 20,000 Facebook protesters and a resolution from Wellington City Council for airport management to reconsider – which resulted in the airport again backing down. It now said that it would select a panel to consider alternative ideas, as suggested by the public.
One or more of the suggestions would then go to a head-to-head public vote against Wellywood, with the winning option proceeding. It is believed that having no sign is not an option.
It is understood airport chief executive Steve Fitzgerald will facilitate the panel but will not have voting rights.
Fran Wilde: The Greater Wellington regional council chairwoman has extensive political experience as a former Labour MP and mayor of Wellington.
Andy Boreham: fA gay rights supporter, organiser of the Wellington Airport drive-by protest against the Wellywood sign, former Film School student, currently in his first year of law and media studies at Victoria University.
Dave Gibson: Gibson Group company director who has produced feature films and television programmes sold in more than 80 countries. Has sat on a number of boards as well as being a past president of the Screen Production and Development Association (Spada).
Liz Mellish: Chief executive of the Wellington Tenths Trust. She is also on the regional council's regional sustainability committee and runs her own business as an accredited business mentor.
John Milford: Kirkcaldie & Stains managing director since 2006 following 23 years with the Allders Group of department stores in Britain. Kirks website also lists him as a trustee of Partnership Wellington Trust (Positively Wellington Tourism) and Scots College Charitable Trust.
Allan Probert: Chairman of Enterprise Miramar Peninsula Trust established as a vehicle for people on the peninsula to discuss and define their sense of place. He is also a vet with three Wellington practices.
Richard Stone: Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce president who had 25 years in management consultant businesses, mainly in executive recruitment. He is a former chairman of PowerHouse People but is now retired but still helps out some people in a mentoring role.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you always wear a helmet while cycling?Related story: Cyclists creative on cycle helmet waivers