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 and enjoys 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.
Andy Sykes is the Laver & Wood Product manager. He brings a wealth of cricketing knowledge as well as the drive and determination to maintain the continual growth of the L&W brand. Any queries, questions or quandaries can be directed to Andy or James. Andy has a great understanding of the business and process of bat making. He is extremely patient and is great at working out the best bat deal for you as a cricketer. James and Andy work closely together to ensure the best sizing is achieved for your new bat. Andy loves cricket and plays for CHB, also a keen golfer.
Pilar Kruger works part time in the office and takes care of the administrative side of the business. She is experienced in many sports and a keen endurance horse rider.
Ken Slater works part time in the workshop in our finishing and repairs section. Ken is a retired Physics teacher and spends many a good hour on the golf course enjoying his passion for a birdie! Ken is an accomplished woodworker and enjoys workshop life; his knack of getting around any problem is invaluable to the organisation.
Toby Richardson is working full time in the L&W workshop alongside James as an apprentice bat maker (Pod Shaver). Toby is a keen young cricketer, rugby 1st five and snow boarder. He brings a great dimension to the business in his fantastic finishing ability that is second to none.
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. .
Gau Sura is our web administrator. He lives in the United States of America and loves the Indoor Cricket League in Iowa! Gau is an all round great guy who has been invaluable to our team in making sure we are running well and always good for ideas and positive thinking.
We are situated on the main highway in Waipawa, Central Hawkes Bay, on the East Coast of the North Island, New Zealand.