Sports Surfaces

When challenges arise during the year, NZSTI is here to support you and your turf management team  in having great surfaces for your community 

Support packages

When challenges arise during the year, NZSTI is here to support you and your Turf management team in providing great sports surfaces for your community.

We have a support package tailored to your needs and budget.


Premium Support

Our premium support offers you the following benefits:

  • Unlimited phone and email support from our Agronomists
  • NZSTI Sportsfields Chemical Guide featuring controls for pests, weeds, diseases, moss and growth regulator 
  • Premium support newsletter covering seasonal issues
  • Written analysis and interpretation of soil, organic matter, and water tests
  • Access to the full Turf Management Journal back catalogue
  • Free online job advertisements

Full Advisory

Our full advisory support offers you the following benefits:

  • All the benefits of the Premium Support, plus
  • One on-site advisory visit by an Institute Agronomist:
    • During the site visit, turf quality problems will be identified and solutions provided.
    • After the visit, you will receive a detailed report providing advice and recommendations to improve surface quality and performance.

Pre Paid Support

Our pre paid support package offers you the following benefits at reduced rates:

  • Field quality assessments
  •  Cost effective maintenance planning, and prioritisation
  • Construction and feasibility reports
  • Compliance assessment
  • Sports surface performance testing for both natural and synthetic surfaces
  • Nutrient & fertiliser management plans
  • Asset testing – for example, measuring irrigation system efficiency


NZSTI provides a range of sports surfaces consultancy services to councils, schools and communities throughout New Zealand.

Through our team, we have a range of experts in all areas of turf management as well as providing general agronomic advice.

Surface Testing

NZSTI can perform a number of performance tests on your surfaces including:

  • Field parameters including; surface levelness, water infiltration, moisture uniformity, line markings, run-off areas and more…
  • Agronomic parameters including; turf cover, colour and height, thatch depth, effective root depth, surface hardness, pests, weeds, diseases and more…
  • Performance/Player Welfare parameters including; shock absorption, Head Impact Criteria (HIC), vertical deformation, energy restitution, rotational resistance, ball roll, ball rebound and more…
Labosport Inspection & Field Evaluation (L.I.F.E)

The most comprehensive testing and reporting methodology available for testing your synthetic surfaces including:

  • Shock absorption; measures surface hardness –  related to risk of lower body injuries
  • Vertical deformation; measures surface deformation (stability) – related to risk of lower body injuries
  • Rotational resistance; measures surface traction level – relates to risk of lower body injuries
  • Vertical ball rebound; measures ball bounce height – relates to ball control levels for the player
  • Ball roll; measures ball roll distance – relates to ball control levels for the player
  • Head Impact Criteria (HIC); measures surface hardness – related to risk of head injury
Head Injury Criterion (HIC)

Concerned about the hardness of your playing surfaces and whether they are safe to use? Head Injury Criterion (HIC) testing is one option for evaluating the safety of your playing surfaces. HIC testing of playing surfaces was developed with an emphasis on reducing the likelihood of serious head injury caused by direct contact with the surface. Following the method in the standard BS EN1177:2018, NZSTI’s qualified and experienced staff can use HIC testing determine the Critical Fall Height of your playing surface.

Construction and Design

From inception to sign-off, we are equipped to manage your sportsfield construction project.

Specifications and drawings
  • Preparation of concept, working and as-built drawings
  • Surface performance criteria
  • Drainage system specification
  • Irrigation system specification
  • Irrigation water supply and water quality assessment
  • Turf species selection
Materials selection
  • Rootzone, blinding sand, gravel, and topdressing sands
  • Soil suitability
  • Drainage materials
Project management
  • Client – contractor relationship management 
  • Supplier selection
  • Monitoring construction standards and tolerances 
  • Onsite material quality assurance
  • Maintenance programme until handover


NZSTI provide a range of laboratory tests including:

Rootzone sands, topdressing sands, bunker sands, blinding sands
  • Particle size distribution 
  • Organic matter content 
  • Moisture release curve
  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Calcium carbonate content 
  • Topdressing sand compatibility
  • pH 
Nutrient testing

NZSTI maintains a strategic link with Hill Laboratories Ltd, offering a complete soil test interpretation and fertiliser recommendation service from a chemical analysis of root zones, plant tissue and irrigation water. 

Pest and disease diagnostic service

The NZSTI laboratory provides routine pest and disease analysis.  

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