Richie Trezise, 35, a rugby-playing Welshman, lost weight to gain entry to New Zealand after initially being rejected for being overweight and a potential burden on the health care system.
His wife, Rowan, 33, a photographer, has been battling for months to shed the pounds so they can be reunited and live Down Under but has so far been unable to overcome New Zealand’s weight regulations.
A drain on the national health care system. Does that sound familiar?:
Robyn Toomath, a spokesman for Fight the Obesity Epidemic and an endocrinologist, said she was opposed to obese people being stigmatised. "However, the immigration department’s focus is different," she said. "It cannot afford to import people into the country who are going to be a significant drain on our health resources.
So how did Mr. Trezise's doctor react?
Mr Trezise, a submarine cable specialist and a former soldier, said: "My doctor laughed at me. He said he’d never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life. He said not every overweight person is unhealthy or unfit.
Can it happen here?