The long-awaited share offer for Napier Port has been confirmed for mid-July, with an NZX-listing expected by August.

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council today authorised Napier Port to proceed with a 45 per cent initial public offer (IPO) of shares in the port.

"We have today instructed Napier Port to proceed with a 45 per cent offer of shares in Napier Port, with a priority offer for Hawke's Bay residents and non-resident ratepayers, iwi and port staff who wish to buy shares," Regional Council chair Rex Graham said in a statement.

The port will launch a pre-registration website for residents and non-resident ratepayers interested in investing, with the IPO expected to launch in mid-July and close in August.

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Graham says a 45 per cent IPO of Napier Port would deliver the funds needed to enable the Port to invest in its future growth, while protecting ratepayers from the costs.

Napier Port needs significant investment in order to manage congestion and to prepare for future growth.

It needs a new wharf, which is estimated to cost between $173m-$190m, and a minority IPO will provide the funds to enable the Port to invest in its future.

"A 45 per cent initial of Napier Port strikes the right balance for Hawke's Bay in protecting the things that matter most to our region and enabling the Regional Council to focus its efforts and resources on the pressing issues facing Hawke's Bay's natural environment," he said.

The IPO will be conducted by newly-formed Napier Port Holdings.

Napier Port chairman Alasdair MacLeod said the Port had been working hard to ready itself for the IPO.

"After many months of work and careful planning, we are in the final stages of preparation for the offer," he said.