New Zealand's favourite and least favourite vegetables revealed in inaugural 'VegElection'

Voting ballot box against background of vegetables
Kiwis have been casting their votes on their favourite and least favourite vegetables. Photo credit: Getty Images

While New Zealanders have been busy reading policies, watching debates and casting their votes in preparation for the General Election this Saturday, another election - a much smaller, far less important election - has been bubbling away in the background.  

New Zealand's very first VegElection saw around 4500 Kiwis vote on their favourite and least favourite vegetables from across the motu, and the results are officially in.   

With a clear majority, the humble tomato topped the polls and secured the coveted title of Aotearoa's Favourite Vegetable: despite, of course, the tom technically being classified as a fruit, as it contains seeds. 

Perhaps in a surprising twist, the notoriously divisive Brussel sprout was not banished to the compost bin as the nation's Most Hated Vegetable: instead, relegated to the back of the veggie drawer was the controversial kale, despite the leafy green rising in popularity over recent years due to its 'superfood status'. Although kale is rich in nutrients, many Kiwis couldn't get past its strong earthy taste and fibrous texture.   

Yates Gardening spokesperson Fiona Arthur noted that in the lead up to National Gardening Week and the serious business of the General Election, the VegElection was all in the name of fun.  

"As Kiwis gear up for the main event, we wanted to create our own take on democracy which we hope has brought some light relief to the political discourse. Regardless of the election outcome, New Zealanders are united in their love of vegies," Arthur said.  

The runner-up for Favourite Vegie was broccoli, followed closely by kūmara, while the second Most Hated Vegie was okra, followed by broad beans.  

The all-important questions were also put to political leaders and while some declined to respond, the Opposition leader Chris Luxon weighed in with his two cents. His favourite vegetable? The beloved potato. Least favourite? Cabbage - an answer that was backed by other respondents, with cabbage making the overall list of the nation's most despised vegetables.   

"Grandmothers were famous for boiling cabbage into submission but these days cabbage has had quite the facelift. Think cabbage rolls or okonomiyaki – Japanese pancakes – and you can't go past a good coleslaw," Arthur noted.  

"Cabbage is a low-calorie, high-fibre vegetable that aids weight management. Due to its high water content, you can feel fuller, therefore reducing calorie intake, and its low glycaemic index can regulate blood sugar levels. So, it's a winner all round."  

Top 10 Favourite Vegies                                                  

  1. Tomato                                                                
  2. Broccoli                                                               
  3. Kūmara                                                               
  4. Carrot                                                                  
  5. Peas                                                                     
  6. Spinach                                                               
  7. Asparagus                                                          
  8. Beetroot                                                             
  9. Cabbage                                                             
  10. Silverbeet.                                                           

Top 10 Most Hated Vegies  

  1. Kale  
  2. Okra  
  3. Broad beans  
  4. Swede  
  5. Brussel sprouts  
  6. Celery  
  7. Silverbeet
  8. Asparagus
  9. Beetroot
  10. Cabbage.