A submarine cable specialist headhunted for a job in New Zealand was forced to slim down before this country's immigration service would let him in.
Welshman Richie Trezise was denied an employer-backed talent visa when he failed the Body Mass Index test (BMI), a fat measurement using a person's weight and height.
His BMI was 42, making him morbidly obese and a potential burden on the health service under New Zealand immigration policy.
A New Zealand company asked this man to come to NZ to work for them, so obviously, he had the skills they needed, and I would think that they knew his size when they interviewed him. Didn't they know that New Zealand's immigration policy would turn him away?
"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," said Mr Trezise, who plays rugby and used to be in the army.
The 35 year-old went on a crash diet to lose many kilos and two inches from his waist.
He passed the BMI to begin work for Telecom here in September.
At least he has a decent doctor. But for immigration to tell someone they must lose weight in order to get into the country to work a job for which they had been recruited is irresponsible, to say the least. He would not be a drain on their health care system, he has private healthcare.
When a country is lacking sufficient numbers of skilled workers, they certainly cannot afford to turn away qualified immigrants just because those workers don't meet a certain BMI. If they insist on doing that, then a lot of athletes wouldn't qualify to enter New Zealand, since most of them are obese by BMI standards.
I wonder if they would have refused entry to Luciano Pavarotti to perform in an opera there? After all, that was his line of work, and he would have been paid for that performance. Would they tell Queen Latifah that she can't make a movie there? She would be working there and earning money. What about John Goodman or any other actor that has a BMI over 24.9?
The Immigration Service says it doesn't know how many people have been turned away because of BMI. I find that hard to believe. They don't keep any records of who has applied for entry, and why they were refused entry? Shoddy record-keeping practices if that is the case.
So it doesn't matter how well-qualified you are to do a job that is sorely lacking in skilled applicants, if you are fat, you can forget about it. It won't matter how healthy you are, because they can tell just by looking at your fat that you are going to be a drain on their health care resources.
Sorry I'm such a vindictive bitch, but all I could say to New Zealand is "Don't come crying to the skilled fatties of the world when you can't find enough thin people to fill your jobs. You didn't want us when we were willing and able to work for you, now that you need us, tough shit. You can sleep in the bed you made."