Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser says there are complexities in following Australia's lead and introducing plain packaging for tobacco products.
Speaking this weekend on TV3's "The Nation" he said that the Government consulting the public on plain packaging "and I don't want to get ahead of the public consultation process."
Asked if that meant New Zealand might wait until legal challenges in Australia were finished, he said: "It's an option on the table which we're consulting with now.
"The Maori Party has taken political leadership on this.
"We're strongly supporting them but we'll listen to different views.
"I think it's getting a bit ahead of the play here because there are some complexities around this."
He said there was an argument that plain packaging could remove the tobacco companies' intellectual property.
"We need to listen carefully, especially to other companies that would be very concerned if we were setting a precedent on this," he said.
"That might actually go against our own interests.
"We know what the real target is, but we need to consult the public and then we'll need to have some very careful decisions to make sure that if we are going to move forward with legislation in this area, is properly designed to deal with those legitimate concerns.
"I'm thinking really outside tobacco I should say."
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