Can you believe the furore over the Wellywood sign? The plan by Wellington Airport to erect a 3.8-metre high, 28-metre wide sign spelling out Wellywood has inflamed the capital. The passion, the fury, the no holds barred insults being flung from one camp to the other is the stuff great Hollywood scripts are made of.

Sir Michael Fowler, former architect and former Wellington mayor, fired a graceless broadside to critics of the sign, calling them "dumb, humourless, totally irrelevant and probably Irish".

I have absolutely no idea why being Irish would have anything to do with it and Sir Michael wasn't elaborating in the press.

Anti-sign campaigners took to their cars to protest in their hundreds, bringing traffic around Wellington Airport to a crawl, and online opposition is fevered and furious and included threats to bomb or burn the sign, should it go ahead.

The chief executive of Wellington Airport has had threats made against him and his personal Facebook account has been hacked and defaced. Prominent Wellingtonians and film lovies have been pressed into committing to one side of the war or the other.

It was amusing watching John Key being put on the spot over the sign by persistent journos: they asked him whether or not he liked the idea of a Wellywood sign and he said he thought they had the Well part right.

Did he think it was tacky? Well, he replied, he didn't mind if they did it but personally he'd put Wellington up. But did he like the idea, the journalists badgered, and finally, reluctantly, without the benefit of definitive polls or surveys, Key was forced to take a stand and he came out with a resounding, "not really".

I think I'm in the "not really" camp, too. The idea doesn't incense me the way it does so many Wellingtonians, but what is fine as a sardonic nickname for Wellington in conversation doesn't translate too well into a sign.

If the intention is to showcase the brilliance of the Wellington film scene, get Weta to come up with a creative light show or tableau for the hill - not just a tacky, knock-off sign.