Man 'kicked out' of New Zealand for being too fat

Man 'kicked out' of New Zealand for being too fat

A South African man is facing deportation from New Zealand - for being overweight.

Albert Buitenhuis weighs 20 stone and six pounds, 66lbs lighter than when he moved to NZ six years ago.

But he has now been told his weight may place demands on New Zealand's health services.

At 5ft 10in tall, Albert has a body mass index of 40, making him clinically obese.

His wife Marthie says his weight has never stopped him from working 40 hours a week as a chef, and has not been a problem with gaining their annual visas every year since 2007.

According to Miami Newsday, Marthie said: "We applied for [them] year after year and there were no issues. They never mentioned Albert's weight or his health once and he was a lot heavier then.

"We've committed no crime and did nothing wrong other than my husband being a foodie."

But at the beginning of May, the couple were told Albert's weight was no longer acceptable, claiming it increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. He had to stop working, and the couple are currently staying with his sister in Auckland, reports

According to the Daily Mail, Immigration New Zealand said an applicant's BMI must be under 35. A spokesman told the paper: "INZ's medical assessors have to consider to what extent there might be indications of future high-cost and high-need demand for health services."

The couple have made an appeal to New Zealand Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye, and no action would be taken until she has made a decision.

The couple moved from South Africa to Christchurch in 2007, where they both got jobs in restaurants, Marthie as a waitress, and Albert as a chef.

Their former boss, Cashmere Club manager Don Whyte, said the couple had been "great employees", telling "They've been here for years setting up a life, making friends and working hard. He's been the same size for years so either he should have been told back then he couldn't stay or he should be allowed to stay now."

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