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Reprieve for fat chef in NZ Visa row

August 2013, 22
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South African chef
A South African chef who has been embroiled in a NZ visa row has been told he can stay in the country for a further 23 months as long as he does not cost the healthcare system any money. He will need to pay privately for all healthcare requirements.

Albert Buitenhuis is a chef who weighs more than 20 stone (130kg). When he applied for a renewal of his work visa recently he was told that he did not meet the grounds of the visa due to the state of his health and in particular his osteoarthritis in his knee. He has lived in Christchurch, NZ for six years and has lost weight since he moved there.

Mr Buitenhuis has said that he will aim to lose more weight in the coming months, but is fearful of how he will survive due to losing his home and using his savings to fight his case.

The NZ immigration department has said that all migrants must have an acceptable level of health to minimise the costs on the NZ healthcare system.


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