Last weekend I was involved in a couple of significant events in Tauranga.
The first was the 50th anniversary of the T.S. Chatham Sea Cadets. It was great to see the traditions of this unit alive and well after so many years. The sea cadets made a great time capsule for future cadets to open in another 50 years time. I think it’s a safe prediction to say a few things will have changed in that time.
I was also privileged to play a small role in the Brad Milne Memorial Concert on The Strand on Sunday afternoon. Organised by his parents Colin and Marianne, all of the money raised will go to support work on depression and suicide prevention. These are important causes we all need to have an awareness of.
National is working hard to build a more competitive and productive economy based on savings and investment, and away from debt borrowed from foreign lenders.
Our plan to offer New Zealanders minority shareholdings in state energy companies is part of a wider economic programme to get on top of debt, increase savings, and get our country through difficult economic times.
We are going to invest the proceeds from the partial share sales in new public assets, like modern schools and hospitals.
The Government will keep majority ownership in each company.
By law, the Government has to own at least 51 per cent of these companies and no other shareholder can own more than 10 per cent.
Mighty River Power will be the first company off the blocks with a minority share offer in the third quarter of 2012, market conditions allowing.
.New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue for shares.
The Government will make it as easy as possible for New Zealanders to be involved, while at the same time encouraging long-term share ownership.
There will be:
- A minimum application for Mighty River Power shares of $1000, meaning a wide range of New Zealanders will be in a position to apply.
- A guarantee that New Zealanders seeking up to $2000 worth of shares will receive the shares they apply for.
- A loyalty bonus for New Zealanders who keep their Mighty River Power shares for a certain length of time.
- Support and advice from a retail syndicate, which will make it as easy as possible for New Zealanders to take part in the offer and get the information they need to make informed decisions.
To make it easy for New Zealanders to find information about the share offers process the Government Share Offers website has been setup at: www.governmentshareoffers.govt.nz
These partial share floats are a win:win for New Zealand.
They will broaden the pool of investments for New Zealand savers and deepen our capital markets. They are expected to put $5 billion to $7 billion more into modern schools, hospitals, and priority infrastructure without having to borrow overseas. And the Government will keep 51 per cent majority ownership over these important companies.
This is a smart policy that will strengthen the New Zealand economy.