It’s unclear how he died or how his death could have gone unnoticed for so long. The student has not been formally identified, although local media reported that he was a New Zealand citizen. His body was found after fellow students noticed an odor coming from the room and informed police. The man’s stepfather recently contacted his friends on Sunday looking for him. New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the case was a failure of both the university and the campus operators. “No student should be left for that period of time unattended, uncared for when they’re living in a hall of residence or a hostel,” Hipkin said.
Officials in New Zealand have called for an investigation. In her own statement, University Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey said that it was “inconceivable to imagine how these circumstances could have occurred.” “We are devastated by what has happened and extend our deepest sympathy to the family,” de la Rey added. The incident has raised concerns among students about the level of care and attention provided at the university’s resident halls. Police said they were working closely with the deceased’s family and the University of Canterbury following the tragic incident.