New Zealand is considering dropping financial and travel sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
The development follows an impassioned plea from Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, currently on a whistle-stop tour of New Zealand and Australia.
The sanctions were introduced in 2002 in response to human rights abuses under the regime of President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai, a leading democracy advocate in Zimbabwean politics, said lifting sanctions against his country was "very important".
He says Zimbabwe's cash strapped economy can't grow while financial sanctions are in place.
"The reason why we are facing financial squeeze or liquidity problems, is because of the sanctions - the IMF, the World Bank will not deal with us."
It was after the disputed election in 2008 that Tsvangirai entered a power sharing agreement with arch enemy Mugabe.
Tsvangirai says the two foes have developed a 'working relationship' and they will contest another election next year.
He says he is hopeful the reward of sanctions being lifted will be enough of an incentive for Mugabe to play fair.
"He will accept the result, I don't see any reason why he would plunge the country into another dispute."
Prime Minister John Key says he will consider lifting sanctions but first wants to consult with Australia.
However he accepts Tsvangirai has a compelling case.
"If there are free and fair elections held in Zimbabwe and therefore a free and open voice can be given to Zimbabwe, why wouldn't the global community respond in kind," Key said.
Labour's foreign affairs spokesperson Phil Goff agreed moves for grater democracy in Zimbabwe should be supported.
"Despite suffering assassination attempts, imprisonment, beatings and being wrongly tried for treason, Mr Tsvangirai is committed to reconciliation, rather than retribution," he said.
"New Zealand must support progress in Zimbabwe, and such a gesture would strengthen the hand of democratic reformers."
Tsvangirai's visit comes after news that another African leader, Ghana's President John Atta Mills, who won international praise as leader of a stable model democracy in Africa, died suddenly overnight.
Mills was 68.
The unexpected death of the leader of the West African oil, gold and cocoa producer comes months before he was due to stand for re-election in December.
He will be succeeded by his vice-president John Dramani Mahama, officials said.
Ghana started pumping oil in 2010 and posted double-digit growth in 2011, burnishing its image as an increasingly attractive investment destination on the continent.
It was praised for its healthy democracy.