Hawke's Bay-based Eastern Institute of Technology will come under a single Government run nationwide mega-polytechnic that will eventually see the EIT name phased out.
Reaction to the announcement has varied. EIT council chairwoman Geraldine Travers says the institution is here for the long term and will remain here for tertiary education provision.
But Tukituki National MP Lawrence Yule, who was criticised for running what some said was a premature "Save EIT" campaign, says the proposed changes are "devastating" for the region.
Yule says he was "justified" in creating the petition, adding his "worst fears have been realised".
"It highlighted an issue. I had hoped the Government would change it and they haven't and now we've got to have the next battle.
"I don't think we should take this lying down. I have spoken to other Mayors' today, there's a fair bit of concern and I think we have to work out our tactics next," he said.
Minister of Education Chris Hipkins has announced that New Zealand's 16 polytechnics will be merged into one national campus as part of vocational education reforms.
While EIT's campus will remain in the Hawke's Bay region, its name, EIT, is set to be phased out within three years under the new plan.
As part of the announcement, Hipkins outlined seven key changes he said would give the industry greater control over all aspects of vocational education and training, making the system more responsive to employers' needs and to the changing world of work.
He believed the changes were needed because the current vocational education system was not working well enough.
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Yule says the decision "to strip EIT of assets and send all power to a central polytechnic" will be reversed if National wins the 2020 election.
The decision was "devastating for our region" and will cost thousands of jobs across the country and "unfortunately" some in Hawke's Bay.
"This is disastrous for regional education and apprenticeships. National will fight for Hawke's Bays voice and autonomy in these idealistic education reforms."
The new institute, with a working title of; The New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, will start on April 1, 2020, and will provide on-the-job and off-the-job learning.
All regional polytechnics will be renamed as subsidiaries for two years; after that polytechnics and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) will be dissolved.
On the same day, the EIT Council will be replaced by an EIT subsidiary board of the new national institute.
EIT council chair Geraldine Travers said it was "pleased that there will be some continuity between the existing council and the new board".
She said EIT was an example of the success that all regions should be experiencing.
"EIT is one of NZ's leading institutes of technology and is here for the long term and will remain here for tertiary education provision," Travers said.
Hipkins said the government would set up regional groups to advise on local interests and skill needs.
"EIT does not support a highly centralised national institution, and welcomes the government's commitment to ensuring strong and effective regional and local leadership," Travers said.
It would also establish a new unified funding system.
"We need a more flexible and integrated approach to funding. It has to support industry training and provision into remote and rural communities and for those who might have had limited previous educational success."
Travers said the reform would create uncertainty for staff.
"Having already gone through a successful merger with Tairāwhiti Polytechnic some years ago we understand and appreciate the importance of people and carefully managing large scale change," she said.
About 2904 submissions were made after Hipkins rolled out consultation on proposals in February.
Former Labour Party candidate Anna Lorck said the announcement reconfirmed that we "are and always will be here in Hawke's Bay".
She said the fact Hipkins had announced that the headquarters of the mega-polytechnic would not be in Wellington meant it was also an opportunity to "work together to bring the headquarters to Hawkes Bay".