The Government has opened a pre-registration period for New Zealanders interested in purchasing shares in Mighty River Power. After the pre-registration period, the share offer document will be lodged (expected to occur in mid-April) and a three week offer period will begin. Ministers will then decide on the share price and allocation (ie between New Zealand and overseas shareholders). The Government expects this process to be completed by mid-May.

The focus of the Government's announcement is providing New Zealander's an opportunity to invest in the stock market. To this end, the pre-registration period includes an advertising and communications campaign to raise awareness and inform people how to register. However, the Government notes that there is a balance between putting New Zealander's at the front of the queue for shares and ensuring there is a tension in the share price for investors. Mighty River Power will apply for dual listing on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

Mighty River Power is the first cab off the rank for the mixed ownership model. The State Owned Enterprises Amendment Act 2012 is drafted to allow separate Orders in Council to make Genesis, Meridian and Solid Energy into mixed ownership model companies at a later date, if and when the Government decides to sell shares in those companies.

For further information on the Government's announcements, see here.