South African chef ‘too fat’ to live in New Zealand

CHRISTCHURCH - Authorities in New Zealand have told a South African chef he is too fat to be allowed to live in the country.
Officials say the 20-stone man would place too much strain on New Zealand's health services. Nearly 30% of adults are overweight in New Zealand. Net photo.
Officials say the 20-stone man would place too much strain on New Zealand's health services. Nearly 30% of adults are overweight in New Zealand. Net photo.

CHRISTCHURCH - Authorities in New Zealand have told a South African chef he is too fat to be allowed to live in the country.

Immigration officials said Albert Buitenhuis, who weighs 130kg, did not have “an acceptable standard of health”.

He now faces expulsion despite shedding 30kg since he moved to the city of Christchurch six years ago.

New Zealand has one of the highest obesity rates in the developed world, with nearly 30% of people overweight.

Buitenhuis and his wife, Marthie, moved from South Africa to Christchurch in 2007. At the time, the chef weighed 160kg.

Until now, their annual work visas had been renewed with “very little problem”, his wife said.

“We applied year after year and there were no issues,” she said.

“They never mentioned Albert’s weight or his health once and he was a lot heavier then.”

But in early May, the couple was told their work visas had been declined because of Buitenhuis’s weight.

Agencies

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