The Gonville hockey turf is "dead" and needs replacing at a cost of $850,000.

Hockey Wanganui say the turf at Gonville Domain has come to the end of its useful life and is hoping for a $200,000 ratepayer contribution towards a new one.

The current turf, laid in 1990 and re-carpeted in 2006, is developing tears and the shell rock base is sinking in parts.

Hockey Wanganui's Aaron Manville told the Whanganui District Council's property and community services committee on Thursday that in a year it could become unplayable.

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"We do have a problem. The Gonville turf is dead," he said.

Mr Manville said Hockey Wanganui had considered new turfs at Wanganui Collegiate or Springvale Park but those would require a $1.6million to $2million build.

Resurfacing the Gonville turf was the only viable option and the facility already had the required support facilities such as a clubrooms and lighting.

The new turf Hockey Wanganui want to build would be up to modern specifications with a shell rock and asphalt base which would be much faster and up to Olympic standard.

"We want to promote Whanganui as a hockey tournament destination and obviously, having an Olympic grade surface will allow us to do that," Mr Manville said.

The organisation has applied for funding from various community organisations and wants $200,000 from council.

Hockey Wanganui says it has had a 17 per cent growth in player numbers in the past year with more than 1000 players now on the books.

It is estimated hockey brings in $815,000 to the Whanganui economy each year with 1600 players coming to the city to play.

Any ratepayer funding would have to be discussed and consulted on through the council's long term plan next year but council property general manager Leighton Toy said the idea would be discussed at upcoming councillor workshops.

Hockey Wanganui say with an indication of support, it could probably bridge the financial gap and get the work done.