The Government has announced a mandatory phaseout of single-use plastic bags by next July.
The move comes after a petition of 65,000 signatures was presented to Parliament in February.
Both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage made the announcement in a packed Wellington cafe, where they underlined the importance of the decision.
"It is time to listen and time to act collectively," Ardern said.
Other avenues such as a levy on bags were considered, but "a mandatory phase-out is quickest and most effective, and wouldn’t require a law change like a levy would," Sage said..
The public has been invited to make submissions on the decision.