Students have continued paying for their Auckland rooms after fleeing to be with their families during the Covid-19 lockdown, and as universities continued teaching online.
It has been nearly 12 weeks since New Zealand entered alert level four on Thursday, March 26.
Nicole Allen a third-year medical student, said: “Auckland Uni did a teaching-free week so I decided to go home for that, and while I was at home, they announced the lockdown.”
Ms Allen continued paying for her Mount Roskill flat, at a reduced rate of $210 a week, down from $230, while staying with her family in Tauranga.
Listen to Nicole Allen discuss her plans for the rest of the year and how she has found online study.
Maia Hemara-Tylden, a second-year Bachelor of Arts student at AUT, paid $598 a fortnight for her flat in the Wellesley Student Apartments (WSA) while staying in her hometown of Kaikohe.
University student accommodation have received heavy backlash throughout lockdown, as students found it unfair to have to keep up payments.
AUT, Canterbury, Auckland, and Otago universities have offered partial rebates.
Ms Hemara-Tylden said her mother advised her to discontinue payments after a week, and save her Studylink living-costs payments, until a bill was provided.
She "pulled out a few weeks ago" from WSA and won’t be returning for the end of this semester.
Twenty-year-old Tiana Trego- Hall, a Te Ara Poutama Maori media student, pays $180 rent at her West Auckland house.
"Fortunately, because the place I board at is family-owned, I was able to get a couple of weeks off,” she said.
“For me, the type of work I do is online-based anyway, where I can edit and all of that, so I’ve been lucky enough to pick up jobs here and there to pay my rent,” said Ms Trego- Hall.
Ms Trego- Hall resumed payments a few weeks ago.
Ms Allen, Ms Hemara- Tylden, and Ms Trego- Hall plan to return to their Auckland residences if face-to-face classes resume in Semester Two.
The University of Auckland will be online teaching until semester two, July 27, and will then move to open-campus classes.
AUT is yet to announce when on-campus teaching will resume.