Wellington: A teenager lay dead in his campus dorm room for up to two months, a New Zealand university said Thursday, with the young man's body only discovered after fellow residents complained of the smell.
The remains of the first year University of Canterbury student were so badly decomposed that specialist disaster investigators were brought in to identify them.
"Clearly there's been quite a big failure here," New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. "And if that means that things need to change to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again in the future, then we will do that."
The 19-year-old, who has not been publicly identified, was described by friends as a "good and confident guy", but who would sometimes "go off the grid for a week or so." The undergraduate began his course in July the start of the academic year in New Zealand having opted to live on Canterbury University's leafy campus in Christchurch.
Single rooms at the halls of residence where the student's body was found cost NZ$17,000 (US$10,000) a year.