Hawke's Bay locals are being given priority to own a share of a 45 per cent stake in Napier Port, to be traded through the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) next month.
Eligible for the offer are those living inside the boundaries of the port's owner, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, along with Iwi and port employees.
Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson said locals were getting priority because the port's owner, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, was keen for local ownership.
"Locals really understand and value what the port has got to contribute to the local economy," he said.
"Likewise for the employees.
"There is a sense of recognition of the role that the port employees have made, or had, in terms of creating the value of the port today in the Hawke's Bay region and also the integral part they are going to play in the future success of the port."
Residents and non-resident ratepayers can buy at least $2000 worth of shares.
Port employees will be offered an interest free loan of $5000 to buy a larger stake in the port, which is experiencing consistent growth.
Dawson said the 45 per cent sale of the port would primarily fund a new wharf.
"We're a busy port, in terms of the region that is supplying the cargo that is coming through here.
"We are simply running out of parking spaces - the port is very congested and that means we need to continue to expand in order to continue to meet regional growth."
The new container wharf, estimated to cost between $170 million to $190m, is due for completion by 2022.
Napier Port's net profit lifted more than 5 per cent to $17.6m in the last financial year. It's expected to continue paying a regular dividend to shareholders. The Hawke's Bay Regional Council will retain 55 per cent ownership.
Locals have until July 12 to pre-register for their priority allocation online at www.napierportshareoffer.co.nz or by dialling 0800 041 040.
A product disclosure statement will be issued soon after.
The priority offer is due to open on July 23 and close on August 5.
The allocation to several local Iwi entities will be decided once the full demand is known.
Trading of Napier Port shares on the NZX is expected to commence August 20.