Overweight SA man faces deportation

Albert Buitenhuis has been told he is too overweight to live in New Zealand.

Albert Buitenhuis has been told he is too overweight to live in New Zealand.

JOHANNESBURG - An obese South African man has been told he is too overweight to live in New Zealand, despite shedding 30 kilograms since he moved to the country six years ago.

Albert Buitenhuis and his wife Marthie face deportation after an application to renew their work visas was rejected this week due to his weight.

He weighs 130 kilograms.

Immigration New Zealand cited the demands his obesity could place the country's health service.

Medical assessors found Buitenhuis no longer "had an acceptable standard of health".

Officials said his obesity put him at "significant risk" of complications, including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The couple, who moved from South Africa to Christchurch six years ago when Buitenhuis weighed 160 kilograms, said their annual work visas were previously renewed without any problem.

According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, nine percent of adult males and 11 percent of females were obese in 1977.

In 2008/2009, the figure increased to 27.7 percent and 27.8 percent respectively.