Sports clubs are the lifeblood of communities throughout New Zealand but differences have threatened one club's very existence, the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand has ruled.

The tribunal recently released findings relating to a "fray" between Rotorua-based Central Rugby League Club and its parent body, Bay of Plenty District Rugby League, spanning almost two years.

The heart of the appeal was the suspension of the club committee in December 2018 was not legally valid, an AGM where a new committee was elected was null and void and the original committee should be reinstated.

Sports Disputes Tribunal chair retires