Originally, the shares had to be offered locally for 30 days but BTIB made a last minute-decision on May 9 to extend the period by another two months.
It has now shortened the period by 30 days, meaning locals have until June 9 to submit expressions of interest.
BTIB Chief Executive Terry Rangi said the purpose of extending the deadline by 60 days was to ensure Cook Islanders would have sufficient time to put proposals together.
However, the Board is aware that two consortiums have already lodged their interest, he said.
“It would not make sense to drag the deadline date longer than necessary if those who are serious have already put their hand up.”
He said he hopes any other Cook Islands parties will lodge their interest by June 9.
In making its decision to shorten the time period, the Board has acted according to its mandate and outside of any agreements which may have been signed between Telecom NZ and Digicel, or any other party, Rangi said.
“I must stress that this and other recent decisions concerning Telecom NZ have been made by the Board with no direct influence by our Minister, Cabinet or Government generally.”
Telecom NZ will begin assessing its offers at the end of the advertising period.
“That assessment will take some time anyway and more likely beyond the 60-day deadline that the Board had imposed two weeks ago. This decision means that things can start moving along,” Rangi said.
Telecom NZ has entered into a conditional agreement to sell its 60 per cent stake in Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) to Digicel for $23 million.
Local rules stipulate that those shares have to be offered in the Cook Islands.
Telecom NZ says any Cook Islanders or Cook Islands enterprises interested in acquiring the shares in TCI must be able to prove they have no less than $23 million, and experience of owning and managing significant telecommunications assets and networks.