National leader Simon Bridges has committed any Government he leads to enacting the result of the upcoming referendum on recreational cannabis use.
He also said that a Government led by him would pass a euthanasia bill if it won a referendum, even though both issues were traditionally conscience issues for the party.
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters confirmed it was his Government's intention to enact the result too, but Justice Minister Andrew Little was more cagey, and said it was still not clear if the referendum would be "binding" for the Government or not.
The referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use was won by the Greens in its confidence and supply agreement with Labour. It must happen either before or at the 2020 election.
Bridges said clearly that he would abide by "what the people want".
"Yes. I think we've got to," Bridges said.
"We've got to see the question, we're going to have an informed debate I hope on the issue, but absolutely in principle we support referendums and their outcomes."
Bridges said his party would not campaign one way or the other but would leave individual MPs to campaign on the referendum in whichever way they liked.
Peters, whose party has long supported referenda, said it would be a binding referendum.
"We don't believe in fake democracy. If the question is going to the people the people's answer will be paramount," Peters said.
But Little, who is managing the referendum, said the Government still had to decide whether to make the referendum binding or not.
"In order for a binding referendum to take place there has to be a reasonable degree of specificity and certainty about what would follow a 'yes' vote," Little said.
He conceded that even if the referendum was not binding, ignoring its result would be "politically difficult".
"Having made the commitment to have a referendum, it'd be politically difficult if the result said 'go ahead and do something' not to do something, but I think it's in the interest of the Government for its own sake and the electorate to have some certainty about what the result means."
Little said decisions about the referendum would happen in the next couple of months.
Several referendum results have been ignored by Governments, including one to reduce the number of MPs to 99 and another to end the so-called "anti-smacking" law; but these were referenda initiated by citizens.
Government-Initiated referenda, like the cannabis one, are usually obeyed at least in part by Governments.
The last major change enacted by a referendum was the introduction of the mixed-member proportional voting system in 1993.
Referendums have the potential to seriously shock political systems.
A 2016 non-binding referendum in the UK asking citizens whether to leave the European Union - but not specifying how exactly to do so - has seen the resignation of one Prime Minister and large fractions emerge within the ruling Conservative Party.