A plan to celebrate the New Zealand film industry with a Wellywood sign has drawn a protest from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber, which holds the trademark rights to the iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, reacted quickly when Wellington International Airport put out a news release last weekend to announce the Wellywood sign is being expedited, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"We are not without a sense of humor, nor without legal rights," the group said in a statement.

The statement urged airport officials to remember "the holder of the rights to the Sign and the party responsible for its continued existence is a non-profit entity that works hard to raise funds so that the Sign even exists to be mimicked."

The chamber said it warned the airport a year ago about the trademark and assumed the plan had been dropped because it heard nothing back.

Wellington officials are also dubious about the sign, Radio New Zealand reported. The city council voted Wednesday to ask the airport to reconsider the plan, and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said she fears the sign will be a piece of kitsch detracting from Wellington's serious artistic offerings.