Tukituki National MP Lawrence Yule's "Save Our EIT" petition has prompted the polytechnic to allay concerns over its future and reassure students it will "continue to be here".
In an open letter to the Hawke's Bay community that appeared in Hawke's Bay Today 's Saturday edition, EIT chairwoman, Geraldine Travers said the proposal to merge New Zealand's Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics into a single national body "has caused some uncertainty amongst students, employers, and our community".
The changes through the Reform of Vocational Education (ROVE) project underwent a six-week consultation period which ended on March 27.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins is yet to announce further details.
Speaking to Hawke's Bay Today , Travers said EIT's existence was never in question, instead it was about "the name on the gate and the people who are going to make those final decisions".
"We will always have tertiary education in Hawke's Bay because apart from anything else, we are the largest population area not to have a university, so there is always going to be tertiary provision in Hawke's Bay. EIT, with those buildings in Taradale - that organisation will always be there."
Travers said the petition, particularly in how it was worded, made people think that "we were going to lose our tertiary provision".
"That was not particularly helpful because particularly for those people who are halfway through qualifications, it made them naturally nervous.
"I have been assured by the people on the ground that it was having an impact and making people feel less confident."
She said they had an opportunity to earlier in the year to make submissions, which they did, and so too did the region's leaders in a combined regional submission.
She expects the review to come back sometime over the next month.
However, Yule is standing by his campaign, which he launched last month. In it, he said he is "strongly opposed to this" and wishes "to support EIT as one of the best polytechnics in the country".
The campaign is currently on hold until Hipkins makes his announcement. But Yule says he will ramp it up further if the Minister "carries on with what he is proposing".
He says he sent his draft advertisement and petition link to EIT on June 11, with an outline of what he was doing and asked for feedback. None was received, so he proceeded as mentioned.
"I am doing what I am expected to do and I have had a lot of feedback from people who are really worried about EIT.
"I'd be very surprised if the board now has a position that what the government is proposing is acceptable to them because they have talked to me and I have talked to them on numerous occasions how they don't like what's in the package."
He says there is uncertainty, but that has been caused by the government, who now needs to "fix that by clarifying what its intentions are".
Napier MP Stuart Nash said while he hadn't seen the letter, he believes there is a "bit of mischief-making going on".
"The polytechnic is not going anywhere."
He couldn't comment further, as it has not been signed off by Cabinet yet.
EIT deputy chief executive Mark Oldershaw said they wanted to "inform our communities that the institute is here for the long term".
"The longer that the review takes the more uncertainty it creates for students, staff, employers and our communities, hence the need to provide information.
"It is important to know that our graduands will graduate with an EIT-branded qualification. EIT is a Category 1 tertiary provider, having been ranked by NZQA as highly confident in both education performance and self-assessment. This is the highest recognition that NZQA can award a tertiary education provider."
Learning Hawke's Bay regional manager Wenhua Yang said she is not aware of any concerns from international students about the future of EIT.