back to article NZ bans Brit immigrant's overweight missus

The wife of a British man who moved out to New Zealand in September will have to shed a few pounds if she wants to join him after the authorities ruled her too fat to enter the country. According to the Telegraph, rugby-playing Welshman Richie Trezise, 35, was himself initially turned down for a skills visa after his body mass …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Presumably, in the interest of fairness, they also ban the obese from emigrating and becoming a burden on the rest of the world ?

  2. Paul

    Would make more sence.

    If you were talking about, say, Spain, where the national sport is not Rugby. Most of the NZ rugby team must have a BMI of 40+. Just stupid. She may be overweight, but he probably was not, but still had to lose some weight.

  3. Sceptical Bastard

    Without sin?

    So. No fat bastard Kiwis there then?

    I bet they'd have welcomed Pavarotti with open arms.

  4. Chris Collins

    Man the harpoons!

    Exactly how big is his missus?

  5. Ross


    [Trezise admitted that if she wasn't allowed in by Xmas he might reconsider his decision to emigrate]

    "Might reconsider"? I seriously hope for his sake that you've taken liberties with that turn of phrase. She's gonna be *really* unhappy with him if he actually considered leaving her to her own devices!

  6. Dave S

    Hard Choice

    "His missus, however, is still in Blighty, and Trezise admitted that if she wasn't allowed in by Xmas he might reconsider his decision to emigrate."

    If I was his wife I'd be very concerned at the doubt in his mind!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    damn straight

    Congrats to the Kiwis for not bowing to political correctness!

    Should very fat people who take up 2 seats on a plane be charged for 2 tickets?? Of course they should!

    This is not discrimination just maths; if you take up twice as much space you should pay for twice as much space.

  8. Bunglebear

    BMI is total tosh

    The BMI is simplistic drivel. If you are an endomorph (like me, I am 5'6" and have a 46" chest) it has no relation on healthy weight whatsoever. Find a better system or cease to discriminate on it.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    I can see their point

    Kiwis have a lot of larger individuals there already. Why the hell should they invite more in?

  10. andy gibson

    @ Anon Coward - damn straight

    It's not just a space issue either. By my reckoning if I weigh half as much as a fatty, I deserve a 50% cut in my ticket price, or they should pay double.

  11. Doug
    Thumb Up

    I read this article while eating a Twix.

    I thought NZ needed to get people into the country as millions have left and are now serving drinks in Covent Garden?!

  12. Geoff Mackenzie

    Twice the space, twice the price

    Not really the issue here, but I agree - if you take up two seats, pay for two. When I fly and take my guitar with me, I pay for two seats. (Unfairly, Ryanair doesn't give my guitar a baggage allowance or allow it to bring its own hand luggage... I can just picture an obese person booking a flight inquiring as to whether their right buttock got to bring its own suitcase...)

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @damn straight

    Exactly. And don't let in any men under 25 years old, because they will make the roads more dangerous (more road injuries and ambulance expense). No women either, since they may have a baby, and that runs up some serious hospital bills too. No smokers, obviously. Nobody over 50 years old, since they're getting into the expensive healthcare bracket. Nobody with a chronic condition (diabetes, heart failure, asthma, etc.). Nobody who ever worked in a building that contained asbestos insulation...

    At exactly what point does the effect on the economy of zero immigration get considered? Oh yeah, that's a different ministry.

  14. N1AK

    Fair Decision

    I'm borderline overweight with a BMI of 26. This guy would have 65% more than me to get a BMI of 42.

    To put it into perspective, I would have to weigh 364LBs (165KG) to get that BMI. Which is a lot of tyres! 18 Car tyres in fact! (see I even through in some useless trivia).

    I am very confident in saying that anyone my height who weighs 26 Stone is either 25% more muscled than the biggest of Worlds Strongest man competitors or desperately in need of a diet.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Probably worried about rising sea levels

    What with all the research being published about climate change causing rising sea levels, they probably don't want to take the risk of their island sinking further into the sea.

    Obviously this bloke on his own won't cause it, but every little bit helps.

  16. Mountford D

    Politically correct

    I'm not fat, I'm just horizontally challenged.

  17. Niall

    Does my bum look big in this?

    Of course not, but I wouldn't go to NZ if I were you.

  18. Anonymous John
    Paris Hilton


    She may be fat when she's older.

  19. yeah, right.


    The BMI has been generally shown to be a crock of shit in most medical publications. Example: given that it only measures height vs weight, a short, very muscular person will have a high BMI - yet might only have 5% body fat!

    IF this story is true, then there are some bureaucrats in New Zealand that need a damn good whipping, just for being stupid. Maybe such people should be forced to emigrate if they don't want "burdens on society"?

  20. Dan

    lamb flaps

    'nuff said.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Take a deep breath...

    Yer but no but she stuffed her face with doughnuts so she couldn't fit into normal people's clothes on purpose, and someone said we're afraid she'll eat up all the food we have here when she arrives, scare off all the whales and that, and besides, if your lung capacity is too high, in NZ you'll have to plant some more trees to make up for the extra CO2, coz everyone else measures theirs before they go do all that energy-burning fat-reducing outdoor stuff that the island is famous for. Talk about not being able to catch a break, poor woman!

    I'm huge, getting smaller (down from approx 39 STONE to 33 STONE in just 4 months).. I decided to endure a torturous and concerted self-imposed effort; not so i could find more clothes (get 'em all from the USA anyway!) not for more women (got 3 girls on the trot right now, and they're hotties, TRUST!), not for airplane seats (7 flights in 5 years, free upgrades to empty business/first class seats EVERY time), but so skinnny, whining, lego-brained, size-zero-advocating, bullying, skanky-type human beings of the likes of those supporting this outrageous decision could just leave me alone!

    Load off my chest - better go weigh myself in case i've lost too much ;)

  22. Anonymous Coward

    No Fat Chicks

    Fantastic! An entire country that doesn't allow fat chicks in. Sounds like the Playboy mansion but bigger.

  23. Nick Reid


    I mean, did you see the bellies on some of those Hobbits? Seems like it's one rule for little fu**ers with furry feet and another rule for everyone else.

    I'll get my Worg...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bullshit Mis-Information

    BMI is, as has been said, a crude furlong-stick to flag up potentially problemmatic weight problems which has been widely inappropriately adopted because it's easy to measure: weight; height; lookup table.

    There are plenty of Fijian All Blacks who've immigrated to NZ with BMI over 30 (and body fat <10%) and I have a couple of friends who are fit, active and healthy with "anorexic" BMIs. Personally, I know I'm overweight, but my BMI would have me "morbid". Sheer bollox.

    Body fat percentage is harder to measure; conductivity can be used (footplates on the scales) but somehow isn't very often. I don't know why.

  25. Ross Fleming

    Is that why...

    Peter Jackson lost all the weight? Did he go on holiday and then wasn't allowed back in?

  26. Mr Chris


    BMI works for the majority of people - most people just aren't that muscle-bound for it to throw off the scale enough to make them register as obese when they're not.

    Face it - arguing that the BMI is wrong isn't going to make you thinner.

    The only people I've ever heard arguing about it are fatties - the healthy people with normal or underweight BMIs and the weightlifters and the rugby players jwith "obese" BMIs ust don't care.

  27. hans

    Its not fat is a condition

    Apparently some say this obesity is a 'condition' unrelated to eating, does anyone have Sir Bobs phine number, i think I have the solution he was looking for....

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Shape of Things to Come

    I expect fatties to soon require a licence to be seen in the street, the proceeds of which will subsidise companies who provide compulsory camoflage for them to lessen their environmental impact.

    I am a complete exomorph (size zero) and have never ever ever had 3 hotties on the trot at the same time (only 2), so you can understand where I'm coming from and why I am totally prejudiced and biased against these over-endowed fanny magnets.

    It's like the Inquisition bullying people in the name of heaven - claptrap.

  29. Andy Bright

    I just feel sorry for the missus

    Like a few of the other posters, I just feel sorry for the wife.. who is apparently so fat he's only considering returning to Britain if she can't lose the weight.

    As for "should fat people pay for two tickets" bullshit, that's the decision of the airlines, not the whiny fuck sitting next to them. Shit, just about every other seat on the plane costs a different price depending when you bought it, where it's located, how many seats are allocated to "really cheap website prices", so the idea that fat bastards should have to pay double or you should have to pay half isn't something you should have a say in.

    How about everyone is charged the full blown price for airline tickets like business commuters are?

    And besides, with the service you get on your average flight and shit they deliver as nearly, but not quite, something entirely unlike food, the poor bastards will only be taking up one seat by the time they reach their destination.

  30. Dennis

    @Andy Gibson

    I think this would be a great idea for the next budget airline:

    £20 flat charge, cofvers the first 50kg.. then weigh yourself and your luggage in - and..

    0.1 pence per kilo per mile addition.

    I'm a bit on the choddy size (BMI tipping 30ish (which is complete tosh - I'm fit as a butchers - and spend ALOT of time at the gym), but get just as annoyed by skinnies plgging massive cases onto their flights...

  31. Breen Whitman

    NZ is right

    NZ is a small nation of 4 million people. Funding and resources are limited.

    I think fat poms should not be allowed in.

    We have plenty of slim South African doctors queuing up.

    However we are short of union activists, britain being a good source.

    So perhaps if this Guys Missus is good at this she should be let in. Except if shes from Yorkshire.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    2 plane tickets

    Do those who are too fat to fit in a plane seat without spilling over, and duly pay for a second seat next to them also get a second inflight meal?

  33. Eileen Bach

    Don't take it laying down

    His company should stand by him and his missus' and lay their cable somewhere else then! Probebly.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    BMI is for 2 dimensional people

    BMI is rubbish for the simple reason that it relates weight and the square of a person's height rather than the cube. I am 10% taller than average so to stay in proportion my volume, and therfore weight should be 33% above average not 21% as BMI suggests.

    It's another plot by little people (anyone under 6') feeling inadequate.

    Bring back apart-height. (The Goodies 1975)

  35. Anonymous Coward

    its their country....

    they can let in who they like.

    I saw the couple's photo in the papers and they didn't look like they had high BMIs from spending too much time at the gym. They looked more like the salad dodging type of high BMI, but maybe the wedding photos did them a disservice.

  36. Stewart Stevens

    Fat People

    Obviously NZ has to consider liability when filtering its immigration intake. Clearly policy can't account for every specific case. It is a useful generalisation.

    Recently some guy over here had a problem getting health insurance because of his high BMI. It turned out that he was a serious body builder, the insurance company on review of his specific case granted an exception.

    Similar recourse is available in NZ where the Minister for Immigration (some minister anyway, not sure about the title) can intervene on immigration issues.

    The policy is sensible.

    One of the great things about living in NZ is the population density. Where I live 5 cars is a traffic jam. Yeah there might be "economic" reasons for allowing immigration but life is pretty dam good and I think you're going to find it is going to be harder and harder to move here.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Trezise told the Telegraph: "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."

    What a retarded statement. Of course obese people are less fit/healthy than normal people. Amazing how addicts (in this case to food) won't face the facts about their own condition.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    So if i went to NZ...

    The wife couldn't follow me?

  39. ScouseSimon

    Read the quote AC

    Anonymous coward - read the quote before slagging it off :-) The quote says not everyone who is overweight is unfit, not obese.

    Anyway, for myself my BMI is 31.5 - I`d have to lose 50 pounds to get to the "correct" weight according to BMI. I`m a bit overweight, I could stand to lose a stone maybe, but to lose 3.5 stone would leave me looking seriously unhealthy! I`m 6 foot 2 tall with a nice stocky build, legs like tree trunks and personally I wouldn`t have it any other way! BMI is a seriously knackered tool to determine someones health, it only works for people of average height who are average build.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    NZ is heaven on earth

    I'm an Aussie so don't tell the Kiwis this but, NZ is a regular south seas haven. Its a glorious place.

    NZ should be very very careful who they let in. They have the product that many people are searching for; clean, green and natural. They have every right to cherry pick who comes and who doesn't.

    Just as long as us Aussies can continue to come and go as we please!

  41. Rob Clubley
    Thumb Up

    Quite right

    NZ has immigration rules for a reason - for example you have to be able to speak English to a resonable standard, BMI under 35 (may have been lowered to 30 sionce we came here) and you also have to prove your profession will be a benefit to the economy. They don't let just anyone in you know!

    The BMI thing is not a hard and fast rule - if your BMI is higher you just have to take additional test to prove you're healthy.

    Or if you have a few million dollars to invest they forget all of that and welcome you with open arms (yes, really)

  42. Fraser White
    Black Helicopters


    Our marvellous government wont stop you leaving no matter how fat you are. They will stop you leaving if you owe them money.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BMI doesn't say anything useful

    I was told by the fitness trainers at a company where I used to work that Arnauld, one time strongman and present day Governor, would have been regarded as clinically obese in his muscleman days. The measurement doesn't work very well, but that's bureaucracy for you...

    Of course you've got to have the posters who has a BMI of 10 or something who looks down their nose at normal people and calls them obese food addicts.

    You're overweight when you can't run up a couple of flights of stairs without pausing for breath. A person who keeps nice and thin because of their love of cigarettes will know what I mean.

  44. Chewy

    must have been really big

    She must have been huge because they do further tests for those larger than average. My friend recently emigrated to NZ but before they were accepted him and his wife had to pay for further tests because of his size. In case anybody is wondering his extra weight is because he participates in strongman events.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Probelm solved..

    Add 100% tax to chips, fizzy juice and mars bars.

    Works for smokers, right?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Why not!

    If you have a country and need more productive work force who do you choose?

    The answer is simple:-

    The skilled people you need.

    The productive

    People who will generate more wealth for the country then consume... age profile, lifestyle and medical history.

    when you choose to let someone into your country for the rest of their life you do not choose the sick, the laim and the ill.... unless you want your country to become poorer.

    If her weight issue puts her at a high risk of Cancer, diabetis and other illnesses.... why import a liability?

  47. Openminded Cynic

    @ BMI

    BMI is actually an increadibly good way of telling how fat someone is as it is a measure of what percentage of a person's body mass is fat. The methods used for calculating this figure are often shite and inaccurate i.e the height by weight method (only really intended to give a ball park figure for normally proportioned people). A more accurate method for measuring BMI would be using an Immersion Tank or Body Fat Calipers.

    Body builders will all have a BMI < 10% or they're not body builders regardless of their weight.

    Personally I think if I pay for a seat on a plane I should get the use of all the seat not just the parts the fat bastard sat next to me isn't spilling over into if this means he has to buy 2 seats so be it.

  48. Gareth



    And remember, if you can't say anything nice...

  49. Tim Brown

    Speaking as a New Zealander

    I've seen worse (thanks Gareth for the pics link) here in NZ.

    Has to be said many NZers were surprised by this. The NZ government is becoming increasingly draconian, attempting to tell its citizens how to run their lives. (An example of this is the anti-smacking bill which means that an adult who lightly slaps the back of their child's hand - not leaving a mark, bruise, or anything else - can be jailed. It was aimed at stopping child abuse, and badly overshot the mark). This is just another example of the government being idiots.

    Could someone royal (NZ is still under the dominion of the Queen) come over and kick the government's arse?

    (yes, I really am a NZer).

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