New Zealand to Chef: You're Too Fat to Live Here

Nation familiar with obesity might deport heavy South African
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2013 6:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's like bureaucratic fat-shaming: New Zealand has informed a chef who moved there from South Africa that he is too heavy to stay in the country, reports the BBC. Albert Buitenhuis weighs about 285 pounds, and the government deems the 50-year-old too much of a health risk. (It should know: New Zealand has the third highest rate of obesity in the world, behind the US and Mexico, notes AFP.) But now the weird part: When Buitenhuis moved to New Zealand in 2007 with his wife, he weighed about 350 pounds—meaning he's been slimming down all the while.

"The irony is that at the moment he weighs less than he [did] when we first arrived in New Zealand," his wife tells Stuff.co.nz. The government didn't blink at his weight then or in subsequent years as the couple renewed their work visas, but this is year is different. They're appealing, but neither has been able to work since the May decision. An immigration spokesman said Buitenhuis no longer has "an acceptable standard of health," but officials won't move to deport him until the appeal is heard. (Read more New Zealand stories.)

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