Most universities will still not reopen until July even though the Government says they can start again from the Monday after the country moves down to alert level 2.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that early childhood education, schools and tertiary education will all be free to reopen at level 2 - possibly as early as May 18 if the Cabinet decides next Monday that it is safe to move down a level on the four-step Covid-19 alert scale.
The Government's Covid-19 website says: "Tertiary education is a safe environment for students and staff to return to at alert level 2."
"Tertiary education facilities will implement public health requirements and physical distancing as appropriate for the context, and will work closely to ensure a safe environment where students can continue their learning," it says.
"They will need to maintain distance learning capability to help manage within these constraints, and ensure safety of staff and students at risk of Covid-19."
But Auckland, AUT and Massey Universities all say that they will keep teaching online-only for the rest of this half-year, with few exceptions.
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Auckland University communications manager Lisa Finucane said: "Our stated position is we will remain in remote teaching and learning mode until at least the start of Semester 2 (July 27), regardless of the Government's alert level."
"Details still need to be confirmed, however it is likely that a move to level 2 will allow us to resume more of our research activity, and to open up additional study spaces and other student support services on campus, as long as health risks are minimised and we remain compliant with Government requirements," she said.
"We will be able to confirm and advised details on Monday when the Cabinet decision is made.
"While a move to level 2 will allow a wider range of on-campus activities, for most staff the current work-from-home arrangements will remain in place and access will only be permitted for staff who have a critical need to enter campus."
AUT said simply: "Until the end of Semester 1 learning and teaching at AUT will be mainly online."
Massey University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Tere McGonagle-Daly said Massey would also "largely remain online for the remainder of Semester 1, regardless of the Covid-19 alert level."
"This was to give both students and staff a level of certainty for the rest of semester. There will be also be students who are unable to attend face-to-face classes for health or other reasons so it is important that online learning remains in place," he said.
"The move to level 2 will allow some on-campus student services to reopen, as well as the face-to-face teaching of essential labs and studios which cannot be done remotely. The university is currently working through the procedures needed to allow this to happen safely, including health and safety protocols and contact tracing procedures.
"In terms of research, the university allowed a small number of researchers to return to campus under level 3 under strict health and safety protocols if they were considered to be doing priority research.
"Under level 2, we expect to see a much greater number of researchers, especially those who require specialist labs and equipment, to return to campus once the necessary health and safety protocols and contact tracing procedures are in place."
Canterbury University said: "At alert level 2, learning will continue to be provided online, students will be able to access the library services, and small groups will be able to study together too (physically distanced). We expect more detailed information and requirements from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in coming days."
Victoria and Otago Universities said they were waiting for more information from TEC before making decisions about how to operate under level 2.