NZBA Committee

Listed below are the members of the NZBA Committee

Each member of the Committee is elected for a three year term, with two members up for re-election each year



Les Simpson
Les Simpson (President)

Les commenced his interest in Bonsai in Tauranga about 1990. His wife Melody and mother in law Kath had already joined the BOP Bonsai Society and stimulated his interest. Shirley Faull was the President of the BOP Bonsai Society at that time.

Later followed a move to the Waikato. He has been the President of the Hamilton Bonsai Club from 2001 to 2007 and 2015 to 2018. He has also been the Treasurer from 2007 to 2015. He was elected to the NZBA committee about 2002 and was the Treasurer of NZBA from 2015.

He has taken the opportunity to attend Bonsai Courses with Dorothy Koreshoff, Lindsay and Glenis Bebb in Brisbane Australia, Joy Morton in Dunedin and numerous workshops arising from international Bonsai Artists visiting NZ including John Marsh, Craig Coussins, Lee Wilson, Gary Marchal, Tony Bebb, Robert Steven, Peter Adams and Nobuyuki Kajiwara. He has also attended a number of conventions overseas in Taiwan, Hongkong, Indonesia and numerous AABC conventions in Australia. He has demonstrated at two national conventions and done a number of demonstrations for clubs.

Les has had exposure to styling conifers and deciduous trees including saikei and group plantings. He is also familiar with most styles and sizes from Shohin to big ones.  He has not however got his hands to produce a mame yet.


Lynn Slobbe (Secretary)

Lynne has had a long time interest in Bonsai but did not join the Otago Bonsai club until 2008, this was after a workshop held by the club. In 2015 she took on the roll of club secretary.

She has attended courses run by Joy Morton & taken every opportunity to attend workshops held locally with visiting demonstrators including Lee Wilson, Lindsay Muirhead, Tony Bebb & Bjorn Bjorholm.

Lynne enjoy working on all tree types and enjoy the challenge of working with our natives.


Kirsa Webb (Newsletter Editor)


Tony Bywater
Tony Bywater

Tony joined Christchurch Bonsai Society around 1976 or ’77 and has taught the beginners class since the early 1990’s, served as President and Vice President of the society and chair of the organising committees for the 2009 and 2015 National Conventions. He regularly demonstrate at the Christchurch club and at local garden clubs and shows and is on the list of National demonstrators.

A university graduate in Agricultural Science, he’s largely self-taught in bonsai but has learned a lot from workshops with Ben Oki, Tony Bebb, John Hanby, Nobuyuki Kajiwara, Salvatore Liporace, Lee Wilson and Robert Steven.

Tony tends to favour deciduous trees., likes high branching trees, working with rocks, and a Chinese influence. He’s keen to develop his skills and knowledge with NZ natives. Whilst he’sm happy to do it, he thinks we spend too much time in our clubs working on starter material, usually from nursery stock; we don’t spend enough time developing our better trees. Really enjoys critique sessions, especially when people bring along trees they have been working on for a while.


Carl Crosado

John Costello

I initially started into Bonsai as a teenager in Nelson in the late sixties.   At that time there was very little knowledge, interest or resources available, however I did obtain a copy and avidly studied Yuri Yoshimura’s book “The Japanese Art of Miniature Trees and Landscapes”.  This text was the foundation of my views on Bonsai and even today I still flick through it occasionally.

About twenty or so year ago my interest was re-kindled following a visit to Keith Lowes’ California Garden Centre and I subsequently joined the Wellington Bonsai Club who were organising their 1996 national convention.   The world had changed; you could buy the side cutters, wire and pots that previously we only saw in books but never actually held in our hands.

I try to attend most national conventions – there is always something new to consider whether it’s better technique, design concepts or just a refresher of something known, but not applied or simply forgotten.  It’s also a chance to buy more trees, pots, tools and wire than you could ever use – I’m now stocked up ready for Brexit and a return to “the good old days”.

I look forward to meeting more of you in the future and will soon be contacting clubs around the lower North Island to discuss how NZBA can better support you and help foster bonsai throughout New Zealand

Kelly O’Mera


Martin Walters

I love the traditional Japanese methods of producing bonsai trees,the smallest details and the powerful beauty they effortlessly project. I guess this influences my favourite species to work with. I love Black, Radiata , White, Lodgepole and Scots Pines. And while my collection is mostly these species i also have Pohutukawa, Cedar, Hawthorn , Totara ,Juniper and Maple.

I’m currently the president of the Auckland club and enjoy helping run Beginners classes, workshops and arranging international and local demonstrators.

The future on NZ bonsai is bright with a steady influx of keen and enthusiastic artists and I love seeing the standard of bonsai improve with new methods and ideology implemented.