Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has called the start of the university year a "nationwide super-spreader event."
Bloomfield made the comments at the return of the 1pm briefing on Tuesday, stating: "We have a nationwide super-spreader event that is the start of the university year."
However he added, "it is clear universities have done very good planning for this and have got in place the support that students need to be able to safely isolate".
"Right across the education sector, from early childhood right through, I think they've done a great job of planning for what we're now seeing."
Most universities cancelled their orientation weeks to help slow the spread of the virus, but dozens of students have told 1News Covid-19 is rife among the student population, especially in Dunedin and Wellington.
Victoria University of Wellington’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Loveard, said there are 648 cases of Covid-19 among the 2500 students who live there.
All students who have tested positive are isolating in their rooms and meals are being delivered to them, a statement from Loveard said.
The Ministry of Health announced a record high 19,566 community cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday.