Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall says she understands the potential closure of a Lower Hutt birthing centre is upsetting, but the decision is "theirs to make".
At least two petitions have been launched to save Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre after revelations it could close as early as next month.
The purpose-built primary birthing facility is funded through the Wright Family Foundation.
As of about 4pm on Monday, more than 2500 people had signed the Save the Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre petition.
Petition organiser Natalie Horspool said the petitioners wanted the district health board and the Health Minister to "urgently" fund the privately run centre to prevent its closure.
"This is going to be devastating. We've already got a severe maternity crisis in the Hutt, with a growing shortage of midwives, and this is going to take away another option," Horspool said.
"For me and for many women, this is about women's choice in birthing facilities."
Verrall said the Government was committed to ensuring women can access quality maternity care.
Last year the Government announced a $9.47 million refurbishment of the Hutt Valley DHB's maternity facility.
Planning for primary birthing rooms is under way as part of that refurbishment, Verrall said.
"I understand the news that Te Awakairangi primary birthing unit might be closing has been upsetting for some.
"As Te Awakairangi is a privately run business, the decision is theirs to make".
The Wright Family Foundation has been approached for comment.
Each year more than 5000 babies are born in the Wellington region and about 2000 of these births are in the Hutt Valley, according to figures provided by Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs.
About 90 per cent of parents in the region choose to birth at Hutt Hospital.
In 2020, about 183 births took place at Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre, the DHBs said.
The chief executive for the two DHBs, Fionnagh Dougan, acknowledged the birthing centre's contribution to providing pregnant people and their families another birthing choice for the Hutt Valley region.
But she said funding decisions were made to ensure services met the needs of a wide and diverse population.
"The safety of women, parents and babies is the key priority for our maternity services and is at the centre of all decisions made in regards to their care.
"DHB funding decisions are driven by improving equitable outcomes for our population, with emphasis on clinical safety and creating choices to meet the needs of our population."
Dougan said the redesign and update of three maternity facilities on the Hutt Hospital campus is well underway and will be completed by the end of 2023.
Chris Bishop, the National Party list MP based in Hutt South, said maternity services in the Hutt Valley were in crisis.
"Over the weekend, Hutt Hospital's maternity ward went into a "code red" staffing crisis and at some points just one midwife was working."
Bishop said the closure of the centre would put even more pressure on the hospital.
He has launched his own petition to save it and written to the chair of the Hutt Valley DHB, Health Minister Andrew Little and Verrall urging them to fund the centre's operations.
"The closure of the birthing centre would be a disaster for mums, babies and families in the Hutt Valley."
Hutt South Labour MP Ginny Andersen posted on Facebook that she has called a public meeting on the matter on September 16.
"Maternity services in the Hutt need to significantly improve."