Palmerston North’s third artificial hockey turf has been completed at Massey University completed.

The turf was blessed on Thursday morning and an official opening is planned for the near future.

The turf was constructed through a joint agreement between Palmerston North City Council, Massey and Hockey Manawatū.

Both Massey and the council contributed funds to the construction costs, with the balance met through fundraising and grants, including from the Lotteries and Central Energy Trust.

The facility will be run in partnership by Hockey Manawatū and Massey.

There are existing turfs at Hockey Manawatū’s base at Fitzherbert Park.

The new turf was laid by international company Polytan and is similar to one Polytan built in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics.

The turf is hailed as one of the most technologically advanced surfaces in the world.

The electronic speed testing equipment within the turf is world leading.

Other interesting features include a shock pad, which utilises recycled rubber, and the asphalt was laid with laser machinery.

The straight lines were woven into the grass during manufacturing to allow a strong bond and there are two 30,000-litre water tanks to feed the sprinklers to keep the turf in top condition.

The water will come from Massey’s bore and will be recycled.

The turf will be used for community sport, as well as exercise-related teaching and research and to help attract hockey-playing students to Palmerston North.

It is the latest addition to the university’s sporting facilities, including the Sport and Rugby Institute, recreation centre, equestrian centre, Manawatū Community Athletics Track, netball and tennis courts, and 11 rugby and football fields.

The turf was just weeks away from completion when New Zealand went into Covid-19 lockdown, but contractors resumed work under alert level 3.

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