At 286 pounds (130 kg) Albert Buitenhuis, who lives in Christchurch, is classified as obese
and an immigration spokesperson said his visa, which he has re-applied for successfully each year since 2007, was turned down recently because he has "significant risk" of illnesses, including heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
"It is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimize costs and demands on New Zealand's health services," the spokesperson
His wife, Marthie, says her husband applied "year after year and there were no issues". It is particularly surprising, Marthie said, given her husband has lost some 55 pounds (30 kg) since moving moving to New Zealand. The couple have appealed the ruling, citing his weight loss as a reason to allow them to stay.
It is unclear when the ruling on their appeal will come down, but should they lose they will have to return to their native country. New Zealand has one of the higher rates of obesity in the world.