New Zealand-Obese People Need Not Apply!

Richie Trezise, a submarine cable specialist, was looking forward to emigrating from Britain and finding work in New Zealand where his skills were needed. He had been headhunted by one of New Zealand’s largest companies and expected to begin his new life. However, he encountered a slight hitch in his plans. After seeing his doctor and providing information concerning his health to New Zealand immigration officials he was told that he was too fat to enter New Zealand. His body mass index(BMI) registered too high at 42. He was told to slim down if he really wanted to live in beautiful thin New Zealand. “My doctor laughed at me. He said he’d never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life” since not all obese people are unhealthy. Robyn Toomath, an endocrinologist working for the New Zealand campaign group, Fight The Obesity Epidemic, said her country could not afford to admit immigrants who would be a drain on health services. By the way, Mr. Trezise’s wife has also been classified as obese and currently is in the gym working off a few pounds.

This is a rather unique way of evaluating who can or can not enter a country. One can only wonder if the reverse is also applicable– does New Zealand deport their own obese people? If so, are they only able to migrate to nations which welcome obese people? On the other hand, is there a problem with people who are excessively thin?

  • KIM

    Dear Fred
    Thank you for this interesting article.
    Does New Zealand Gov’t has the official law against obese immigrants?
    Thank you.

  • Fred Stopsky

    They definitely have a “body mass” which must be met by immigrants. Some immigrants have to go on crash diets to make the necessary body mass. In one case cited in the article, a husband had just reached the required body mass, but his wife still wasn’t there yet. If she doesn’t make it, she can’t enter New Zealand.