Govt insists Kiwis will lap up shares in sold assets

  • 15/12/2011

By Patrick Gower

Mighty River Power has hydro stations across the upper North Island. There's thermal power too, as well as retailer Mercury Energy.

And the chance to get a piece of the action will be coming to a stockbroker near you as early as July next year.

"We want New Zealanders at the front of the queue," says Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Tony Ryall.

3 News asked the ministers selling it off if they'd be up the front to get themselves a slice.

"It's not appropriate that we are involved," says Mr Ryall.

But they expect plenty of other Kiwis to have a go.

"There will be many, many, many thousands of New Zealanders that would want to participate directly," he says.

Although there are questions about the kind of Kiwi who has the spare cash to take part.

"Most people watching this will be thinking, 'How can we pay the mortgage, how can we pay the school fees, how can we pay for the food?' and everything else," says Greens co-leader Russel Norman.

"Who's gonna be able to afford the assets? Of course it's the top 10 percent who just got $2 billion a year in tax cuts."

And as for getting Kiwis to the front of the queue, there are still no details as to how that might be achieved. 

"It will be very much dependent on what comes out of the due diligence and the market soundings that the lead managers undertake," says Mr Ryall.

And iwi may get themselves a special queue to buy shares. They are considering grouping together as a consolidated "iwi-saver" fund, and with the buying power could be treated separately alongside the big superannuation and investment funds in the sell-off.

But however it works out, the sale is underway.

3 News

source: newshub archive