New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Party hopes to decide it’s stance pill testing at music festivals "before the season of concern", with festivals generally held during the summer months.
Mr Peters' comments come in an interview with TVNZ's Q+A and follow a remit from the party's youth wing to review its policy on pill testing at festivals.
"There was a seriously sound debate. It's a complex problem and frankly there's many sides to it," the NZ First leader said during the interview.
"But what we want is some serious empirical research, not just rumour and gossip, but some serious research as to what on Earth's going on here, and so we'd like to commission that, go forward and make a decision as a result of that information,” he added.
NZ First has so far stalled a plan by its coalition partners to allow pill testing at festivals, and the weekend conference in Christchurch passed the remit from Young New Zealand First after vigorous debate.
Asked how long the research is likely to take, Mr Peters says, "Well, it's got to be much sooner rather than later, before Christmas."
A decision will be made after that, he says.
"We hope to have that decision made well before the season of concern that gave rise to the Young New Zealand First remit in the first place.”