Australia bore the brunt of the umpires' whistle in their 55-51 netball loss to New Zealand in Invercargill, but coach Lisa Alexander had few complaints afterwards.

The Diamonds' trademark fast-passing, fluent game appeared only sporadically on Sunday, as the New Zealanders led every quarter in the first match of the five-Test Constellation Cup series, which continues in Auckland on Thursday.

Umpires Theresa Prince of South Africa and Tracy Smith (England) dished out 80 contact and obstruction penalties against the Australians, while the Silver Ferns were pinged 61 times.

But Alexander is adamant there was nothing unfair about the lop-sided count.

"Definitely not. The penalties were there - we never think it's unfair," she said.

"We need to fix what we're doing according to the umpires' interpretations - it's all about how we react to the interpretations.

"We have to clean up what we're doing."

She said often the neutral umpires allocated to New Zealand-Australia Tests aren't used to the standard and pace of play.

"They said themselves it's difficult, and I totally respect that. I complimented them on their management of the game tonight - I though they managed it beautifully."

Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu said the key measure for umpires was consistency, and Prince and Smith provided that.

"I thought it was generally pretty consistent - I pretty much agreed with everything they were calling," she said.

"I don't think they were in favour of us. They were pretty tough on the circle defenders, and I thought they were consistent with what they called."