21 stone British nurse told she's 'too fat' to live in New Zealand
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:04 PM on 29th April 2009
A British nurse was refused permission to live in New Zealand because she weighed 21 stone.
The 51-year-old, who is not named in official documents, argued that her 52 inch waistline was no obstacle to her work as a nurse, which involved 60-hour weeks.
She was offered a job in a home and hospital for the elderly in a provincial town in New Zealand, documents from the country's Residence Review Board said, and applied for residence in March 2008.
High risk: It could cost the New Zealand government NZ$25,000 to treat obesity-related health problems – one reason why the British nurse was denied residency
But officials rejected the argument that 10 years' experience as a nurse meant she should be allowed to live there – even though there is a shortage of qualified nurses.
The woman decided to move to New Zealand after a holiday in 2007 and wanted to set up home there with her husband, a crane driver, and her daughter who planned to work in a shop.
But medical advisors calculated that with a weight of 21 stone and height of 5ft 1in, her body mass index (BMI) was 55.2, putting her at a high risk of developing health problems.
The certifying doctor recorded 'morbid obesity in otherwise well lady'.
Treatment of potential metabolic problems could cost the New Zealand government NZ$25,000, it was estimated.
The NHS says that a healthy body mass index is between 18.5 and 24.9, while an index of over 40 means the person is 'very obese'.
Documents setting out the board's decision, made last month, showed that she had started losing weight and had dropped three-and-a-half stone in the last two-and-a-half years.
Officials said if she reduced her BMI to 40 her application could be reconsidered.
But they found that currently, despite the woman being in good health, the family 'would make a sound, but it could not be said significant, contribution to New Zealand'