Man 'too fat' to live in New Zealand

File photo of an obese man. Image: Anthony Devlin, PA Wire

A South African man living in New Zealand has been told he must leave the country - because he is too fat.

Albert Buitenhius has worked as a chef in Christchurch for the last six years.

Each year he has had his annual work visa renewed without any problem.

But now immigration officials have told him that he no longer has "an acceptable standard of health", and that his obesity would put him at "significant risk" at suffering illnesses that would place a strain on New Zealand health services.

Mr Buitenhius currently weighs just over 20 stone.

When he moved to New Zealand with his wife in 2007, he weighed 25 stone - but had no problem getting a work visa.

MSN New Zealand reports his wife, Marthie, as saying: "The irony is that at the moment he weighs less than when we first arrived in New Zealand and also less than in his first medical, which was accepted by [the authorities]."

A spokesperson for Immigration New Zealand (IMZ) said: "It is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimise costs and demands on New Zealand's health services."

Among the health complications IMZ believes Mr Buitenhius is at risk from are diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obstructive sleep apnoea.

New Zealand is currently ranked the third most obese developed nation in the world.

Albert Buitenhuis and his wife now face deportation back to South Africa.