Napier will be ablaze with colour later this week as jubilant graduates gather in traditional academic gowns, satin-lined hoods, sashes, korowai and tasselled trenchers for EIT's annual capping and downtown parades.
EIT is celebrating two graduation highlights.
The number of higher qualifications to be conferred overall - including for those not attending graduation is an institute record - up 22 per cent on last year.
And the 447 who are turning out for capping make up a record number for the traditional event.
In total 879 diplomas, degrees and postgraduate qualifications are being awarded, compared with 851 in 2015.
Not all those who completed EIT qualifications last year are able to attend graduation, as they mobilise to bring in the harvest or manage other work commitments in jobs secured locally, throughout New Zealand and overseas.
The proportion of younger people gaining higher-level EIT qualifications remains steady, with 37 per cent of graduates under 25. Women make up 70 per cent of the total.
For the third successive year, the graduation ceremony will be staged as a two-day event in Napier's Municipal Theatre. To handle the growing number of graduates, the capping will once again be managed in three ceremonies.
Business, computing, primary industries, tourism and hospitality and viticulture and wine science will be represented on Thursday afternoon, visual arts and design (ideaschool), education, social sciences and Maori studies (Te Uranga Waka) on Friday morning and health, sport science and nursing in the afternoon.
Ollie Powrie, company viticulturist for Villa Maria Estate and an EIT graduate himself, will be the guest speaker on Thursday. Apryll Parata, a deputy secretary in the Ministry of Education, will deliver her speech on Friday.
Honoured valedictorians Andrew King, graduating with a Bachelor of Computing Systems, Tara Cooney (Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design) and Melanie Gregory (Bachelor of Recreation and Sport) will represent their classmates in delivering addresses.
The graduates will include the first cohort to study EIT's Bachelor of Teaching (Primary). The first of its kind to be offered by a New Zealand institute of technology, it breaks new ground with the level of practice-based learning included in the degree.
Launched with six partnering schools, it now encompasses 22 Hawke's Bay schools.
Another graduation high point will be mother and daughter Kate and Georgie Robson of Hastings, who will take to the stage to be capped with their Bachelor of Business Studies degrees.
This year's Master of Nursing cohort is a particularly large group. Eighteen completed the degree last year and 14 of those are attending this week's graduation.
Napier is hosting Thursday's parade at 4pm while the second will set off at 12.30pm on Friday.
Local authority leaders and the Napier Pipe Band will join EIT council members, senior executive and academic staff in celebrating the graduands and graduates as they parade from Clive Square.