The stepdad of university student Mason Pendrous is concerned the investigation into the teen's death focuses more on his personality rather than exactly what went wrong.

The 19-year-old had been dead for nearly a month, police believe, before his body was discovered in Sonoda hall of residence on September 23.

Both the university and the accommodation provider, Campus Living Villages (CLV), are investigating the incident.

Student Mason Pendrous lay dead for weeks: Hostel head speaks out
Christchurch hostel death: 'Still can't believe it, a great man, an awesome friend ... left us'
Student Mason Pendrous lay dead in hostel for weeks: Stepfather emailed uni with concerns
Hostel chased family for unpaid bills as student lay dead, dad claims


Pendrous's stepfather Anthony Holland told Stuff he was concerned the university's investigation was more of a "character assassination" of his stepson, rather trying to get to the bottom of what went wrong.

"It appears to me the terms of reference should be more about the shortcomings of the university and accommodation providers rather than Mason's personality," he told Stuff.

With his lawyer he had developed his own terms of reference for what he thought the investigation should cover.

This included an aim to discover any shortcomings in the support provided to Pendrous, and establish whether the culture, policies, processes and procedures had worked.

It requested recommendations for change to "ensure the death of a student never goes unnoticed again".

Other aspects included whether CLV management was more focused on profits than care, and for the investigation to cover whether Sonoda delivered on the promise of being a "small, close-knit community".

The case of Mason Pendrous sparked outrage at how he was not found sooner. Photo / RNZ
The case of Mason Pendrous sparked outrage at how he was not found sooner. Photo / RNZ

He also wanted to know why nobody responded to him after he contacted the university on August 8 with concerns.

Former high court judge Hon Kit Toogood QC's current terms of reference involved establishing the circumstances surrounding the delay in the discovery of Pendrous' death, whether any concerns about his welfare were raised and if there was any response.


It would also look into the policies, processes and procedures in place at the university and CLV to monitor and respond to student welfare issues at Sonoda, and whether those policies were adhered to.

From there Toogood would make recommendations on any improvements that could take place.