The record number of pre-registrations for Mighty River Power shares shows there is strong appetite for well-structured businesses, says one fund manager.
Pre-registrations have hit 327,600.
Menawhile, supporters of the Keep Our Assets coalition have presented boxes of signatures gathered in petition it hopes will halt the Government's asset sales plan mid-stream.
The coalition, led by Labour, the Greens and Grey Power needs 308,000 valid signatures to trigger a referendum on the Government's partial asset sales plan which is now under way with the sale of Mighty River shares.
Officials at the Office of the Clerk of the House now face the daunting task of auditing the petition requesting a Political Party Initiated Referendum to weed out signatures that do not meet legislative requirements. Signatories must be registered electors in New Zealand, so all those signatures from visitors from overseas and from children will be excluded. Also excluded will be all duplicates, and we are sure that there will be plenty of those. And "joke" signatures such as Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, Donald Duck and Rufus Paynter (there'll be lots of those, we reckon!) will also be cut.
That's why Labour and the Greens have built in a 25% tolerance; they know that their enthusiastic signature collectors might not have collected signatures according to Hoyle. But even if they reach their target of 308,000, the number of registrations of interest in Mighty River Power shares has already surpassed that in just ten days, compared with the eleven months that Labour, the Greens and the unions trod the streets..
There is clearly an appetite from New Zealanders to buy a stake in Mighty River Power. There was also an election at the end of 2011 which the then-Leader of the Opposition described as "a referendum on whether New Zealanders wanted to see their most important strategic assets sold". There's another election next year, and that's when the numbers game will once again count. But at the moment, the Government is winning the battle.