Too Fat for New Zealand?

A South African man has been threatened with deportation from New Zealand because he is too fat. Fifty year old Albert Buitenhuis has had his application for permanent residency blocked because at 5′ 8″ and 286 pounds; he is seen as possibly placing a burden on New Zealand’s health care system in coming years. Residents in the country, including immigrants, receive visits at public hospitals for free.

Buitenhuis, a chef at a restaurant in Christchurch, has lived in New Zealand for six years and claims that when he arrived in the country he weighed 66 pounds more than he does now. He admits that he will eventually require knee surgery, but says that he has not needed expensive medical treatment thus far. An Immigration New Zealand spokesperson told New Zealand’s News24, “It is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimize costs and demands on New Zealand’s health services.”

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