Wellington could be breaching trademark laws if a Wellywood sign is erected at Miramar, Hollywood executives say.

The sign, which has been given resource consent by Wellington City Council, has been designed to copy the iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, right down to the staggered lettering.

Wellington Airport said on Monday it would put the 28m wide by 3.5m high sign on steep hillside land it owns next to the Miramar cutting, in June.

Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast has said local movie mogul Sir Peter Jackson was adamant it should be "an exact copy" of the Hollywood sign.

However, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive Leron Gubler said the staggered Hollywood lettering was trademarked.

"If they do that with the Wellywood sign then I would think that would be a violation of our trademark...I am checking that with our attorney," he told The Dominion Post.

Wellington Airport said it a statement yesterday: "We are confident we will meet all our legal obligations in relation to the sign."

Yesterday, Wellington mayoral candidate Jack Yan has admitted dobbing in the city's plans for the Wellywood sign.

"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.

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.

Wellington City Council, which owns 34 per cent 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 last night for comment.

- NZPA