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May 30, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Traffic slowed to a crawl last Monday at Wellington Airport as a “slow-moving vehicle” protest was held in opposition to the Wellywood sign.

The protest was in opposition to the announcement that Wellington Airport intend to build the Wellywood sign in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Victoria University student Andy Boreham started the event on Facebook called “Driving Protest at Wellington Airport: NO WELLYWOOD SIGN!”

“We will drive around in loops over the airport drop-off area with signs and music, to show that we don’t agree with this plan,” said Boreham.

A convoy of around 20 to 30 cars drove through the pick-up area, honking their horns, flashing lights and yelling out their windows.

Airport CEO Steve Fitzgerald labelled the protesters as “green radical activists” and told The Dominion Post that people opposed to the sign were extreme and had a “pack mentality.”

“It is a really, really ugly part of a campaign that those who are anti the sign are absolutely intolerant of anyone who wants to say they like it,” he says.

However, a policeman directing traffic at the protest said that although there were the same “dickheads” you get at every protest, on the whole protesters were well mannered and there were no major problems, apart from a few frustrated travellers.

Boreham said disrupting passengers was a price worth paying, and he was pleased with the way the protest went.
“Public disruption is a necessary sacrifice with any successful protest. There are many, many positives that come with our right to protest that far outweigh any negatives.”

Debate about the sign has stormed on Facebook and Twitter. A Facebook group called “Wellingtonians Against the Wellywood Sign” has gained over 24,000 members since last Saturday.

The “Support Wellywood” Facebook page has over 10,000 members, but over half the comments are against the sign.
Boreham is not ruling out any future action.

“We’ll regroup, and see what happens. I couldn’t discount the idea of any more protests.”
Paul Eagle for Wellington City Council

“Wow, there’s now over 24,000 of us (including the PM) who don’t want this dumb sign. The Airport company, that we own 34% of, should be putting its resources into securing a long haul airline, further developing the airport’s infrastructure and/or improving the overall customer experience. In the meantime, keep signing up support :)’

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  1. Jalen says:

    It’s like you’re on a msisoin to save me time and money!

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