The Government is already claiming success from the partial sell-down of Meridian, with almost half of the shares set to be snapped up by retail investors ahead of the offer opening today.
Ministers said there was "strong interest", with 45 per cent of the total share offer pre-committed to retail investors already.
Stockbrokers were invited last week to submit bids on behalf of clients. Investors will be able to pay for shares in two instalments, 18 months apart.
Finance Minister Bill English said brokers committed to buy 565 million shares at a "first instalment" price of $1 each, which is a "strong start" and an investment of $900 million.
The Government plans to sell a 49 per cent stake in the company. It is the second state energy company to be partially sold, following the float of Mighty River Power (MRP) earlier this year, and will be the country's largest initial public offering.
From today, investors have three weeks to apply for the shares. The final share price will be announced on October 23, before the company is listed on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges on October 29.
A minimum application of $1000 applies for the first instalment, and the second instalment is capped at 60 cents per share.
English said the Government was committed to achieving 85-90 per cent Kiwi ownership of the shares.
"So the initial pre-commitment from New Zealand brokers just one week after the offer document was lodged is pleasing," he said.
Shares in Mighty River Power were sold at $2.50 each. A total of 55 per cent of the Mighty River Power share offer was allocated to retail clients, he said.
"The broker allocation for the Meridian offer puts us well on the way to achieving a similar or better outcome."
State-owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said New Zealand citizens or permanent residents could apply for shares, and had to provide their IRD number, a New Zealand bank account, a New Zealand address and a declaration of their residency status.
Meridian is New Zealand's largest generator of electricity, producing more than a third of New Zealand's power.
Up to 49 per cent of Genesis is expected to be sold in the first half of 2014, and Prime Minister John Key indicated last month that an Air New Zealand sell-down could take place before Christmas.
The Government wants to raise up to $7 billion for its coffers from the mixed-ownership model programme. The MRP sale netted $1.7b.
Labour and the Greens are opposed to the policy, which the Government says will reduce debt, pay for infrastructure and increase share ownership. Labour SOE spokesman Clayton Cosgrove dismissed English's demand update.
"They said there was strong demand when 440,000 people registered for MRP and 110,000, I think, ended up purchasing shares."
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