New Zealand student found dead in university halls after two months

The body of a student has been found at a New Zealand university, up to two months after he died.

The remains were discovered at the University of Canterbury, in the city of Christchurch, after other residents noticed a smell coming from his room.

The victim has not been named. But because of the length of time the body was in the room, a police Disaster Victim Identification team was needed to identify him, local media report.

The cause of death remains unclear. The university said it was “devastated” by the death of the first-year student.

“Despite the comprehensive pastoral care programmes in place, for us it is inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred,” Vice-Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey said in a statement.

The incident is being examined by a coroner.

New Zealand’s Education Minister Chris Hipkins said he “expects the university to conduct a thorough investigation”.

“If you’re going into a hall of residence or hostel you’re paying a top dollar for not just a roof over your head but also for the pastoral care that goes with that. I think that clearly that has not been present in this case.”