Too big to handle

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Too big to handle

A medically obese South African man has been told he is too fat for New Zealand, despite losing 30kg since he moved to Christchurch six years ago. Albert Buitenhuis and his wife, Marthie...

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Too big to handle

A medically obese South African man has been told he is too fat for New Zealand, despite losing 30kg since he moved to Christchurch six years ago. Albert Buitenhuis and his wife, Marthie, are now facing deportation after their work visas were declined because of his 130kg weight. Immigration authorities cited the demands his obesity could place on New Zealand health services. However, he weighed 160kg when he first arrived in the country and his wife says he has committed no crime except "being a foodie". The couple moved to Christchurch from South Africa in 2007 and got work at a local restaurant - Albert as a chef and Marthie as a waitress. Their annual work visas had been renewed ever since with "very little problem", Marthie Buitenhuis 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." Then, on May 1, the couple received the news that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) had declined their work visas because medical assessors deemed Albert no longer "had an acceptable standard of health". The couple were forced to stop working immediately. They are staying with his sister in Auckland while they fight to stay in the country. "The irony is that at the moment he weighs less than he [did] when we first arrived in New Zealand and also less than in his first medical, which was accepted by INZ," Marthie Buitenhuis said.

deportation/expulsion – to decline/refuser – weight/poids – demand/exigence – to weigh/peser – foodie/gourmet – waitress/serveuse – to apply for/demander – issue/problème – assessor/expert – to deem/estimer, juger – to fight, fought, fought/se battre – irony/paradoxe – medical/visite médicale

Publié le 27/06/2013

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