About Us

James Laver (Managing Director): James originally trained as a construction engineer at South Bank Polytechnic London. He then had a complete change in career path and trained as a bat-maker under Julian Millichamp at Millichanp & Hall in Somerset, UK in 1992. He took over from Julian as Production Manager/Senior Bat-Maker in 1994 and held this post until 1998.
James moved to NZ in 1998 with a view to set up a bat making company and after, establishing himself here, set up the company Laver & Wood Ltd in 1999. After buying out all shares in 2004 Laver & Wood is 100% owned by James and his family. 

James  lives in Waipawa, Central Hawkes Bay with his wife Nicola and sons Jonty and William also enjoying the visits by his daughter Naomi and other family. He loves the outdoors, is passionate about surf life saving and a patrolling volunteer lifeguard and board member at Waimarama Surf Life Saving Club.
James has personally made over 30 thousand cricket bats in his career and is well versed in the needs of all levels of cricketer, from club to international players. Striving for perfection when making your bat is central to James philosophy and success.

Team Laver & Wood

Toby Richardson is working full time in the L&W workshop alongside James as a bat maker (Pod Shaver). Toby is an accomplished cricketer, rugby 1st five (Hawkes bay under 20's) and snow boarder. He brings a great dimension to the business in his fantastic finishing ability that is second to none. Toby is now making his own range of bats at Laver & Wood as a way of introducing his talent - The TR Special. Toby is also very adept at keeping James on his toes! When Toby says something , it is worth listing to - we often ask the question. Toby, what do you think?

Anthony van Dorsten is our Sales and Marketing Manager. Ant brings to the fold cricketing experience playing the game all his life. He is very skilled at understanding the needs of you as a cricketer and applying this knowledge to enable the best bat sizing for your game. Keen kite surfer, mountain biker and surfer in his spare time. Ant is also the sharpest dresser in the workshop, his enthusiasm is fantastic and he will do just about anything for a good coffee.

Pilar Kruger works part time in the office and takes care of the administrative side of the business. She is experienced in endurance sports (Iron Man) and spend a lot of her time supporting Surf Lifesaving. Pilar is a top rate administrator.

Simon Lusk is our L&W business manager, he brings many great skills and has been involved in the background of L&W for the last 12 years. A keen hunter and fisherman who is always jumping at any chance to get outside with the dogs. We are very fortunate to be within 200 metres of one of the best hawkes bay trout rivers and so see a lot of Simon. Simons passion for cricket and what we do is unsurpassed.

Kim Nilsson  is our web administrator, invaluable to our team in making sure we are running well and always good for ideas and positive thinking.Kim is also passionate about surf life saving and a patrolling volunteer lifeguard and Chairman of the board at Waimarama Surf Life Saving Club.

Jack White has just started with Laver & Wood and aims to complete an apprentiship in Cricket Bat Making. Jack is from Central Hawkes bat and a keen cricketer and rugby player.

Simon Baker of CricHq Joins L&W HERE

We are situated on the main highway in Waipawa, Central Hawkes Bay, on the East Coast of the North Island, New Zealand.