Woman chucked out of New Zealand ‘for being too fat’ in bitter visa row

A woman who was denied the right to live in New Zealand for being "too fat" has been told to leave the country.

South African woman Mondelea Bezuidenhout had moved from her home in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, to Palmerston North, New Zealand in 2018.

Her residency there alongside her husband and young children has come to a rather sudden end after the 36-year-old alleged she had been told to leave the country for being "too fat".

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Officials had snubbed her application of permanent residency in the country after they told her that a body max index (BMI) check revealed it was "too high" of a number.

Bezuidenhout was told her excess weight would put a strain on the public healthcare system in New Zealand, and was given an ultimatum.

She could either slim down 30 kilogrammes (four stone) or she could leave the country, although Bezuidenhout avoided both after a special tribunal hearing.

The 36-year-old was granted residency in the country after she appealed the decision of the officials that labelled her too fat to live in New Zealand.

Following the ultimatum though, the mum managed to lose 10 BMI points, and now has her sights set on becoming a plus-size model.

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Bezuidenhout, who is "no longer bothered by fat shamers" said: "I've always wanted to be a plus-size model, like the Donna Claire ladies – I even named my daughter Donna-­Lee."

She continued: "It's very strange to have complete strangers discussing your body. It went as far as China and to know everyone was talking about it was weird.

"I've always been bigger than other people and I've accepted myself for who I am."

The 36-year-old had once weighed 128kilogrammes (20 stone) and has since set her sights on becoming a plus-sized model.

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