A proposed change in the law over cannabis is being driven by the Green Party manifesto which states the drug should be legal for personal use, including possession and cultivation.
The Greens also want to introduce a legal age limit for personal use and remove penalties for anyone growing for medical use.
The Executive Director at New Zealand Drug Foundation, Ross Bell, said he regularly sees 65 percent in favor of changing the law in the polls his organization conducts, and believes a fresh look at drug policy is overdue.
"It is over 40-years-old and like many other countries, successive governments have not wanted to engage on this issue," Bell told CNBC by telephone Friday.
"Lo and behold the Green Party come along, and allows the country to have the sort of conversation we should have had for a long time."
Bell cautioned that people do need to acknowledge the harm that cannabis can do in society and added that he would not want to see the pendulum swing all the way from prohibition to a free-market arena.
In Canada the government has promised to make cannabis legal by July 1, 2018 but is struggling to satisfy international legal obligations. Bell cited the current Canadian model of cannabis policy as one that New Zealand could pursue.
Timing of a referendum remains unclear but Bell said that the New Zealand government would want any vote to be binding and, if possible, held before 2020.