You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Much of the tower's exterior is covered in scaffolding as the university freshens it up for the first time in more than a decade.
To make the university landmark more photogenic, a $5000 sheet of fabric with a likeness of the clocktower printed on it was draped over the scaffolding so graduates did not miss out on photos in front of the university's centrepiece.
Bachelor of science graduate Hannah Matheson, of Christchurch, said students made a priority of having their photo taken in front of the clocktower on graduation day because it was ''an icon and the centre of the university''.
''It's a must-do photograph - that and the one in front of the university sign on Cumberland St.''
She said the university had done a good job trying to hide the scaffolding.
''It does look a little bit tacky, but I think it's better than what's behind it.
''I think it works for photos because the people are the main focus of the pictures and the clocktower is just in the background.''
Other students having their photos taken at the usually picturesque site were not as impressed.
One student, who declined to be named, said it would have been better if the university had removed the green scrim and orange bollards which surrounded the clocktower.
''I'm a little disappointed.''
Bachelor of science and microbiology graduate Vishwa Jani, of Auckland, was also disappointed.
''It looks very out-of-place. It's disappointing.''
While she said it was possible she could come back and have her photo taken when the scaffolding was removed, it would be expensive to return from Auckland and ''the magic of the moment'' would be lost.
Namratha Giri, of Auckland, believed the screen did not work as well as the university wanted it to.
''I think it's just a lot of money that's been spent on something that doesn't particularly work.''
Despite the ''fake clocktower'', a constant throng of graduates lined up at the site to be photographed on Saturday.