Victoria University in Wellington has temporarily banned three students for burning an New Zealand flag on campus.

The students burnt the flag outside a campus bar on May 6 as part of an Anzac Day anti-war protest.

The university has disenrolled flag burners Joel Cosgrove and Alistair Reith, and Ian Anderson, who filmed the protest, until the end of the first trimester on June 7 on the grounds they breached health and safety standards.

It also issued a written warning to Marika Pratley, who was there at the time, and banned all four from the Mount Street bar.

"These students have shown a disregard for the safety of others and of university property," dean of humanities and social sciences Professor Deborah Willis said.

The students had set the New Zealand flag alight using an accelerant without warning anyone around them or having any means to put out the fire.

The students said the 20-second flag burning happened outside in the rain and was not a danger to anyone.

They had been passing their courses and not being able to complete the trimester would cost them about $2000 in fees, Mr Reith told Radio New Zealand.

The students planned to boycott the ban and continue to attend classes.

Prof Willis said the university had a statutory duty to provide a safe environment for all its students and employees.

"We view these students' conduct very seriously."

The decision on penalty had been made after they failed to attend a disciplinary meeting to discuss their conduct, she said.

The students could appeal the decision and would be able to re-enrol for the second trimester starting on July 13.

- NZPA