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The bluestone and Oamaru stone facings would be re-pointed and the window frames repainted during the summer break.
University property services manager Barry MacKay said red and brown paint, based on past records and chosen in consultation with Heritage New Zealand, would be used.
The work was vital to the building's survival, he said.
The work would be completed in stages so graduating students could still have their photos taken with the building in the background. The project would be finished midway through next year.