Many happy returns, Luce

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A Belgian celebrated her 80th last Sunday on her 20th visit to Queenstown – despite Immigration New Zealand spoiling her last holiday. 

Luce Wilsens, who lives in Switzerland, was required by Immigration NZ to spend almost $2000 on medical screenings – including tests for AIDS and syphilis – when she applied to extend her three-month visit last summer. 

Wilsens, who holds comprehensive health insurance, was also asked if she was pregnant. 

Her treatment “spoiled my holiday” and put in doubt her return for her 80th, she said then. 

Immigration NZ apologised for insisting on a medical, said it would consider a refund and welcomed her back for her 80th birthday. 

Wilsens says she’d refuse a refund. 

“I just spend money here, I don’t take any money from NZ,” Wilsens says. 

“I have health insurance so Immigration shouldn’t be afraid they have to pay for anything if I die here.” 

Throughout her 20 visits Wilsens has stayed in the same room at Aspen Queenstown hotel and employed a driver to take her around the region several times a week.