The grieving stepfather of Mason Pendrous says his family have been told the University of Canterbury student died of natural causes.

"Could we have saved Mason?" Stepfather Anthony Holland asked.

"Possibly not, possibly not."

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

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Several investigations are now underway into how the dead student was able to lie undiscovered for so long.

Mason Pendrous, who was found dead by a staff member at the University of Canterbury's Sonoda Campus in Christchurch. Photo / RNZ
Mason Pendrous, who was found dead by a staff member at the University of Canterbury's Sonoda Campus in Christchurch. Photo / RNZ

Holland, who referred to his stepson as a "clever cookie" and a "good boy," told Sunday he won't forget how long it took to find Mason.

"The time it took - I'll take that to my grave."

He was pleased the Education Pastoral Care Amendment Bill, which was in response to Mason's death, had passed its first reading.

The bill includes a mandatory code of practise that universities and polytechnics will need to comply with or face stiff financial penalties.

"I want this not to happen to another dad, another stepdad, another family.

Mason Pendrous' stepfather, Anthony Holland, said he doesn't want this to happen to another family. Photo / Sunday
Mason Pendrous' stepfather, Anthony Holland, said he doesn't want this to happen to another family. Photo / Sunday

"He wasn't the young man that died alone," Holland said.

"He was the young man that changed the law."

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

Last week Holland told media he was concerned the investigation into the teenager's death was focused more on his personality than exactly 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."

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