The push to get first-time investors buying shares in state assets has some experts worrying people will be left without financial advice.
Prime Minister John Key announced at the National Party conference yesterday New Zealanders wanting to buy shares for the first state asset to be auctioned off, Mighty River Power, would be first in line.
Financial markets watchdog Sean Hughes said Kiwis should seek advice before buying shares.
"We think it would be good idea for New Zealanders to seek competent and professional advice from someone who understands investing shares."
Brian Gaynor, a financial commentator, said with hundreds of thousands of Kiwis potentially lining up for shares, there would not be enough advisors.
"There is no way that financial advisors in the major firms in New Zealand can spend an hour or hour and a half (consulting).
"It's just not feasible."
Key agreed people should seek advice into buying stock, but remained enthused to give as many Kiwis as possible a share of assets.
"We want to make it easier for people to invest. In the end, it's up to people to make up their own minds."
Key said yesterday the minimum application for Mighty River Power shares would be $1000. New Zealanders applying for up to $2000 worth of shares are guaranteed to receive what they applied for and will not have their applications scaled back.
He also announced a bonus loyalty scheme, which would give investors additional shares if they held on to their shares for a period of time.
Labour leader David Shearer said today tax payers could potentially miss out on revenue lost from the asset sales to pay for the loyalty scheme for private investors.
"We're seeing great big chunks of the promised windfall from this venture eaten into by brokerage fees, PR and advertising campaigns and now the bonus scheme," Shearer said.
Asset sales not only to 'slash debt'
Key said this morning he would proceed with the partial sale of state-owned assets even if the Government was not in debt.
He said the mixed-ownership model had proven to be "very successful" and it would give New Zealanders more opportunities to invest their money.
When asked if he would still want to go ahead with the asset sales plan if the Government was not in debt he said he would.
"My view is that the debt element, which allows us to buy other assets without having to put more debt on the balance sheet, is a compelling argument in its own right," he said.
"But it's only ever been one of a small number of other factors - making the companies perform better, giving people places to invest, transparency."
Key said one of his motivators for selling assets is growing the stock market in New Zealand, which is currently 25% of the country's GDP, while in Australia it is 80% of its GDP.
"You've got all this money pouring into your KiwiSaver account but where do you invest it? There's $12 billion there at the moment and it's the same with mum and dad with their money in the bank."
Key said the Government's intention was for the Mighty River Power share offer to happen later this year, "subject, of course, to market conditions".
He said people would not have to use a broker to buy shares, but would be able to do so, and can get advice from a broker or other financial adviser.
Shares will be owned by the Government, individual New
Zealanders, and funds like KiwiSaver, ACC and the Super Fund, Key