Two Tauranga board members of the Magic franchise have resigned over the dumping of successful chief executive Sheryl Dawson.
Dawson had to reapply for the top job after a new governing body, the Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone, was established recently.
She has been involved with the Magic since 2002.
The crucial role she played in guiding the franchise to become the first New Zealand team to win the transtasman ANZ Championship was rewarded with the Tauranga Excellence in Business Leadership Award for 2012. But she failed to make the final short list for the new role.
Board members Shirley Baker and Paula Thompson have found it simply untenable to continue on after Dawson missed out to 43-year-old Aucklander Tim Hamilton.
"We don't understand how they came to this decision," Baker said.
"We just don't get it. The reaction we have got from all the netball centres of Harbourside, Rotorua, Whakatane, Katikati, Te Puke, Opotiki and Kawerau has been one of disbelief.
And tears. Everyone has shed tears over it."
Board chairman John Wiltshire, a Hamilton-based sports lawyer, is disappointed that they have resigned over this issue.
"The process at board level was always clear and everyone understood and accepted how the process was going to be developed," he said.
"So their choosing to resign has been very disappointing indeed for me personally and I wish they hadn't."
Read more in Friday's Bay of Plenty Times.