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Wellywood? Welly-hick, more like

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, March 9th, 2010 - 52 comments
Categories: local government - Tags: ,

When you talk to some Wellingtonians they like to tell you their city is different to others in New Zealand because because it’s a bit more metropolitan and sophisticated than towns like Hamilton, Palmerston North or Mosgiel.

My response is generally to point out the fact that Wellington is really just a large provincial town with too high an opinion of itself.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with provincial towns, they’re part of what I really like about New Zealand but occasionally these wee towns throw up an idea that is so cringingly hick, so small-minded and embarrassing you can’t help but break out the language of the big-city snob.

In this case it’s Wellington’s turn to be the laughing-stock of anyone who doesn’t think guessing the weight of a sheep is a great day at the county fair.

And they’re doing it in grand bumpkin style with plans to erect a huge sign on the Miramar cut declaring the place to be “Wellywood”

That’s right, when people fly into our capital city the first impression they are going to get is of a city, if not a country, that is willing to crawlingly bastardize its name in order to try to gain just a little bit of reflected glamour from a city on the other side of the world.

The only other Kiwi town I can think of that has done such a thing is Mosgiel and at least they had enough self-respect to spell out the name of their town rather than some sycophantic play on the name of their town.

Honestly Wellington, have some dignity. You look like a bunch of bumpkins.

52 comments on “Wellywood? Welly-hick, more like”

  1. DeeDub 1

    As a Welly-dweller can I just say to whoever thought of this lame bullshit idea:

    JUST F**K OFF!

  2. “When you talk to some Wellingtonians they like to tell you their city is different to others in New Zealand because…”

    …its one big cul de sac. An unavoidable dead end you have to drive down then jump a boat to get anywhere decent.

    Mainland for life !

  3. Eric C. 3

    Sounds like another stupid idea from Kerry Prendergast.

    • Bored 3.1

      Common Eric, Kerry does not have ideas, if she even had a stupid one that would be a personal milestone.

      • Bored 3.1.1

        Come to think about it, maybe Rexy wants to develop Wellywood Villas on top of the hill, the signs just advance real estate marketing.

  4. randal 4

    hey guys dont you know how these things are done?
    I bet it was a vibrating drunken little screamer in a little black number who dreamed up this one.
    anyone who has done any busking at all knows that it its the poor people who give most and the creative types that look like they might have some money or awareness are the ones who curl their lip as they walk past but then they come up with something like this and they think its wonderful.
    mainly because they didnt have to pay for it.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    If they wanted to really honour the film industry in Wellington, they should have had Weta Workshops create something. Like a weta. Or a taniwha.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      Or they could just not put some tragic and ugly thing on a hill and instead be quietly self-confidant that Wellington is a city known for its film industry and its good taste.

  6. tc 6

    mmmm Dunno irish, methinks you expect too much from the windy city…..without parliament I always thought it was a hicktown…..with great food/culture and a good public transport system.

    Let’s face it, without PJ and his unswerving vision for doing it all here Weta would be an office only in NZ so maybe a giant CGI of whatever character that’s current like in Avavtor or District 9….my vote would be for Gollum.

  7. Bill 7

    “Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast said the giant sign would capture the essence of the capital.”

    Indeed.

    BTW. Always was going to be a an up hill struggle being a sophisticate coming from a town named in honour of Gumboots though, eh?.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        Green waders?

      • Rich 7.1.2

        I suppose one may have to give her some support, despite her and Iona being about the least inspiring politicians in the Green Party.

        I’m actually surprised she hasn’t welcomed the sign, given her form for agreeing with anything Kerry and the officers propose (in the cause of being “constructive”).

    • Rich 7.2

      Actually, the boot was named after the town.

      It was invented to keep early settlers feet dry as they waded through the unsurfaced muddy streets of the new capital village.

      Oddly, the name never caught on in New Zealand.

      • Zorr 7.2.1

        ummmm…. misinformation muh?

        Where did you get that little false nugget from? I’m curious.

        Also, Wellington wasn’t the capital until 1865.

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Oh for the love of fucking.

    I’d have to look at that damn thing at least twive a day on average.
    My axe swinging muscles are already twitching.

  9. Wellington should try and be a little bit more original.

  10. Jimmy 10

    Every town / city in New Zealand does equally stupid things. Does this really warrant your vitriol towards Wellington & its inhabitants?

    • IrishBill 10.1

      I like Wellington and I like Wellingtonians. I think this is a stupid idea that will make both look stupid. Having a carrot at Ohakune or a bunch of fruit at Cromwell is kind of interesting and eccentric. Having your capital city desperately mimic Hollywood is a bad look whichever way you cut it.

  11. prism 12

    Cripes what a cringing attitude to Wellington. Criticising the sign if it does go up is an example of the defensive approach lacking any brash go that NZs are noted for. I say go for it Wellington, flaunt yourself and your great talents and what you have achieved and aim to be.

    Less ‘Oh dear what will the neighbours think” and more “We are a vibrant community and if we want to parody Hollywood with a sense of humour because we have achieved a new international status and valuable real business (unlike financial ponzi schemes or milking cows, which does not require much imagination) we will celebrate it.”

    • Bored 12.1

      Come on Prism, anybody coming to the far flung end of the world wind tunnel named Wellington would actually know where they were coming into……the bouncing of the plane on our gentle zephyrs would be enough to conform it. One gust of the local “breeze” pushing them over as they left the terminal would confirm that this was truly a place for an extraordinary type of person, film makers who utilise vast amounts of processing power to build virtual worlds because its too bloody cold and windy to film lightweight Hollywood midgets outside before they are blown into the harbour.

  12. Smokie 13

    How f**king cringe-worthy can you get?

    Tell you what. If you tried that in the small North Island town where I live, you’d be run out… and rightly so.

    This shows up Wellingtonians for what they really are. Not culture snobs (the abuse they love to attribute to themselves) but downright tacky and tawdry.

    Remember Wellington, you voted for Prendergast.

    • Daveo 13.1

      Not quite. Only one in three actually voted, and out of them only one in three voted for her. What’s that, one in nine? I’d say her largest support base is apathy.

      • Smokie 13.1.1

        Wrong again Daveo.

        In a democratic society apathy is nothing less than implicit support for the winner.

        Don’t get all precious now. It’s not my fault Kerry Prendergast is your mayor.

        • Daveo 13.1.1.1

          Um, that’s exactly what I said.

          “I’d say her largest support base is apathy.”

          Sigh. Fucking illiterate provincials.

          Anyway, this kind of illustrates my point:
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/4357#mayor

          • Smokie 13.1.1.1.1

            Your implication was that Wellingtonians weren’t responsible for her election. Well, they were.

            Maybe if the left down your way could get their fucking act together?

            • Bright Red 13.1.1.1.1.1

              lovers’ tiff?

            • Daveo 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Like I said, illiterate provincials. My implication was that she has no real popular support and that she keeps getting across the line due to voter apathy – not that Wellingtonians “weren’t responsible for her election”.

              Agreed on the sad state of the left in Wgtn’s local body elections, but then I don’t really care enough myself to get involved so can hardly complain.

  13. torydog 14

    true a silly idea……but no more stupid then thick aucklanders voting john banks as ya mayor…….pretty bloody stupid thing to do in my book!

    PS you also have paul henry….

  14. i love wellington, but 15

    i can understand it being installed for the oscars each year but that’s it

  15. prism 16

    Most of the commentators here are against everything new, go on admit it. No you’ll say that’s wrong, we are not against new things, we just don’t like anything being done for the first time. And what if it didn’t pass the Good Taste examination?
    You don’t quite understand what Good Taste is but you know what you don’t like. Pity you couldn’t get some positive ideas and run with them, a long way perhaps!

    • IrishBill 16.1

      Kerry, is that you?

    • Richard 16.2

      “we are not against new things, we just don’t like anything being done for the first time”

      But it is not something being done for the first time. Hollywood, Bollywood, Mosgiel have all done this. I remember the Mosgiel lettering going up. Transformed the place….never looked back. Suddenly Momona airport was full of Lear jets bringing in the A-listers for sausage rolls at one of Mosgiel’s many fine teaooms.
      Actually this is the sort of thing I would usually expect Aucland to come up with. I’m not Jafa bashing, but it is the sort of thing you expect from Auckland, not Wellington.

  16. i love wellington, but 17

    to prism
    i spend my life making art so new is kind of important to me.

    the sign as a full time installation is a stupid idea, nothing to do with taste, it is simply a stupid idea

    as an annual Oscar event celebration of what Wellington is a part of, yeah it is a fun
    TEMPORARY sign

  17. Tigger 18

    Hey, it’s better than the sign Key wanted up there – FOR SALE.

    • IrishBill 18.1

      Be patient Tigger. It’ll come down once they finished using it in Auckland.

  18. Rex Widerstrom 19

    As if the crosswinds and the too-short runway weren’t enough to create the thrill ride that is flying in and out of Wellington, there’ll now be southerly gale-blown huge letters being flung at the aircraft from the nearby hills.

    Never mind the real estate conspiracy, I’d say they’ll be going after the popcorn and deckchair concession on top of the hill, and possibly a discreet bookmaking operation.

  19. ak 20

    Seems a fitting development seeing as how we’re chasing a yankee FTA and dependent on 28 yr-old US bankers – and have the George W Bush of the south pacific….

    “Yo! Bummer!”

    “Er…hello prime minister….how are things in Noo Zeeland?”

    “All’s well and good in the Wellywood hood…er…. blood! Nome sane yall Brackman?”

    “Er….no, prime minister, not really…….”

  20. Pete DGeorge 21

    Actually this is the sort of thing I would usually expect Aucland to come up with.

    But that could be Aukwood.

  21. chuck 22

    You guys have ENTIRELY missed the point.
    It’s a pretty good way to not take ourselves seriously.
    It’s an in joke.
    Fu#k the rest of the world – its funny because we are NOTHING like Hollywood. We’re a tiny town, on the arsehole of the North Island – that constantly punches above its weight. Hell – you could probably say that about NZ.
    Its tacky like the Beehive, Te Papa, Aro Valley, what was for years the ONE wind turbine.
    Have a sense of humour – or perhaps a pair of over sized genitalia is something we could all agree on?

    • mummybot 22.1

      You are right, we are nothing like Hollywood. Hollywood is a plastic hole of a suburb: the main boulevard is lined by sex shops and drug paraphernalia stores, the Kodak theater (where they hold the academy awards) looks like a drive in mall, and the hand prints outside the pastiche Chinese theater – which I digress to say it would belong in Universal Studios except for the fact that it fits right into the plastic and vinyl mess – are a testimony to random shape worship of the divine. The nicest building is the Church of Scientology headquarters. Really nice place to emulate.

      The weirdest thing is it is so hard to see the sign from within Hollywood. It acts as a beacon, luring the unwary and the star struck towards the idea of it, only to have that impression dashed as soon as one talks to the guy on a bus with a cast on his leg who said he had got shot walking down the main boulevard. Wellington can stand on its own without having to broadcast its status. If you really want an ostentatious (unoriginal) symbol of the movie industry in Wellington, go visit Park Road Post .

    • Been Benuane 22.2

      Well nobody else will get the joke, and the joke will be on us.
      BTW, The Beehive and Te Papa were inflicted on Wellington mainly by Aucklanders.

  22. The problem really lies with the whole “WOOD” thing. The invention of a single journo has now transcended the mainstream media. Do you know anyone who doesn’t cringe when that portmanteau is mentioned?

    Sure, have the sign. But stick with the proper name at least. Or, I also like Te Whanga-nui-a-tara.

    • Been Benuane 23.1

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone in Wellington ever say the word “Wellywood” in conversation… until now. I wasn’t even aware of this pathetic and pretentious attempt at pun until someone showed me Wikipedia’s page on Wellington, which left us stunned and soon editing it out (only for it to soon reappear).

  23. Wellygate FTW !

  24. Been Benuane 25

    Hmm… there seems to be much reveling in the fact that this affront to good sense and taste is in Wellington, which (as much as you hate to admit it) IS a bit less low-brow than the rest of NZ. It’s pretty transparent to me that it’s the classic Kiwi chip on the shoulder coming into play again, you’ve all been waiting for an opportunity to stick the boot in Wellington. Well your Christmas has come early, non-entity Kerry’s saved her biggest clanger for now. Laugh away and enjoy this small victory.

    Of course you’ll ignore the fact that despite much spin from the press, the idea’s quite clearly almost universally unpopular in Wellington. And let’s face it, it would only put Wellington in equal footing in the cheesy stakes with Auckland (unless they build that absurd ANZAC bridge) and Christchurch. I mean what other city still promotes a needle tower as one of its main attractions? the viaduct basin will ever be Darling harbour JAFA’s, you just don’t have the right attitude.

  25. peterlepaysan 26

    Wellington was my “home ” town.
    I loved it then and still love the memories.

    This “idea” is so grotesque, puerile and irrelevant I cannot imagine why anyone would waste spending public money on it.

    Had the misfortune of hearing (God help me) of hearing Mark Blumsky and (gulp) Stephen Franks
    (on NAT RAD) extolling the virtues of extracting 15 minutes of “fame” for Wellington.

    That this atrocity is being touted at the same time as the NZ Festival of Arts is is symptomatic of a
    society going to hell in a handbasket.

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