As pre-registration opens for the Mighty River Power offer, people all around the country are gearing up to take shares in the company.
The official share offer website has been overloaded, as thousands of people bombard the site looking for information on the offer.
Shopping malls and community centres in some parts of South Auckland are reportedly almost empty, as people stay home in an effort to pre-register online.
In Wainuiomata the local rugby league club has been converted to an internet café, so that impoverished members of the community can pre-register their interest.
Early indications are that over 300% of the country’s population will take up the share offer.
Solo mother of two Rita Bonos said she was thrilled to be getting the chance to buy shares in a highly profitable company.
Ms Bonos said it would be tough to find the money on her minimum-wage cleaning job, especially as her car needed repairs and the children needed new shoes.
“But I’d be mad not to take up the offer”, she said. “So I’ve decided to try my luck at prostitution. How else am I going to earn the money?
“The kids will just have to fend for themselves at night, but I reckon they’ll be fine. The oldest is almost five now.”
Angus Snee said he would not pass up the opportunity to invest in one of New Zealand’s strongest companies.
Mr Snee was made redundant in 2009 after a thirty year career as a timber worker. In poor health and on his own, he is now on a sickness benefit.
But Snee insists that his desperate financial circumstances will not prevent him from taking a share of the loot.
“I spent thirty years of my life paying taxes and contributing to the economy of this nation,” he said. “Then the owners of the mill where I worked decided I was surplus to requirements. They threw me on the scrapheap, without even a ‘thank you very much for your years of effort’.
“My body is buggered from years of work, and I was forced to sell the house I’d saved hard to buy all those years ago, just so I could pay the medical bills that our ACC system was supposed to cover.
“Thank God for those Mighty River Power shares. They’ll be my salvation.”
Snee said he had been putting money aside for the shares.
“I’ve been saving up since late last year, just by being more careful with my spending. I no longer buy the fancy catfood when I go to the supermarket, but it never did agree with my digestion anyway.”
He picked up a jar from the back of his bookcase and rattled it proudly. “I’ve already put aside almost forty dollars.”
Even more excited at acquiring a share parcel is unemployed woman Sheila Shelby.
“I don’t have enough to pay the rent and to feed myself properly”, said Ms Shelby, “but I’d be nuts not to take part in this share issue.
“The neighbour’s got a flash new TV, and I reckon I’d get a couple of hundred for it. I’ve never stolen anything before, but what choice do I have?
“If this government is going to sell us down the Mighty River, then I may as well be along for the ride.”