The government is moving closer to passing law introducing plain packaging for all tobacco products.
Plain packaging legislation has been on hold after tobacco companies tried to sue the Australian government, which introduced plain packaging in 2012.
But last year, the legal challenge failed.
Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand is now in a position to proceed with plain packaging.
"In that period of time what has happened is the world has moved on, there's been quite a number of countries that have moved towards plain packaging and the advice I've been getting from my officials is that it's now safer to proceed unilaterally."
Mr Key said he's unsure of timeframes and whether the legislation will pass by the end of the year.