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

Peter Mudie
Peter Mudie (President)

Peter started collecting bonsai in the UK in the early 90’s, joining the South Staffs Bonsai Club where he enjoyed many workshops with, amongst others, Malcolm Hughes, Peter Adams, Dan Barton and Salvatore Liporace.

Peter has done demonstrations for local Bonsai Clubs in both the UK and New Zealand as well as at public events in the UK. These have been either in the form of creating a tree from raw material or working with established material and discussing the techniques being used to develop the tree. At club level Peter has also given a number of talks including the use of computers in bonsai, choosing the right pot and feeding. He has been a demonstrator at the National Conventions in 2010 and 2016.

His favourite trees are evergreens, especially junipers but he will work on most species.

In 2009 Peter won the inaugural ‘Emerging Talent Competition’ at Christchurch.

Working in the IT industry, Peter is also the webmaster for the NZBA, and National Convention websites.


Brian Ellis
Brian Elllis (Secretary)

Brian first took up bonsai in 1998 following an introductory course with Joy Morton. He has subsequently completed more advanced courses with Joy and the Bonsai Art Academy with Dorothy Koreshoff.

Brian joined the Otago Bonsai Society in 1999 and has held positions of Secretary, Treasurer, and President; and is currently newsletter editor. He contributes regularly to club evenings and has demonstrated at numerous community events. He is a Foundation member of the New Zealand Bonsai Association and has been Secretary since its formation in 2002.

Brian is interested in all styles of bonsai and tree types but especially enjoys landscapes and working with rocks. He has a particular interest in Chinese culture and history and as a consequence the art of Penjing. He is a trustee of the Dunedin Chinese Garden and assists with their plant and tree development.


Les Simpson
Les Simpson (Treasurer)

Les commenced Bonsai in Tauranga about 1990 and has been President of the Hamilton Bonsai Club for 6 years.

Les has attended various courses with Dorothy Koreshoff, the Bebbs in Brisbane, and Joy Moreton Dunedin.

His favourite trees are conifers but is comfortable with all types of trees and most styles.


Dr Dawid de Villiers (Vice President)

Dawid was introduced to Bonsai at an early age in South Africa by his father. This later shifted to Orchid and fish / Koi (sadly banned in NZ) breeding, but Bonsai trees were never far away. The early exposure led to a collection that kept on growing. A wide variety of trees were cared for with no specific preference for a specific style or type of tree.

When the de Villiers family moved to New Zealand during 2005, one of the first things to do was to get a collection started again. Being in a rural area in New Zealand means that one is isolated with not a lot of contact with other enthusiasts. To overcome this challenge, enquiries were made and a start to what is now the Manawatu Bonsai Society took place. During 2013 the Tararua Bonsai Association saw the light under Dawid’s leadership.

His main aim is to encourage people to take this rewarding activity up and to make Bonsai as accessible as possible to as many people that can be reached. This leads to invitations to speak to Horticultural and other Social groups. Dawid has also written a number of articles for Bonsai Time and a booklet on demonstrations available from Amazon.

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.


Lindsay Muirhead
Lindsay Muirhead

Started in Bonsai 1995 by purchasing a cascade Juniper procumbens nana from Joy Morton at Gardenz in Christchurch.

Lindsay joined the Christchurch Club and then later the Avon club as well and, over the years, served as President of both. He was then nominated onto the first NZBA executive, and then as the President of NZBA for 8 years, retiring in 2016.

Took beginners classes with the Christchurch club and Tony Bywater for 2 years and weekend workshops with Joy Morton. Also completed two advance week long courses with Joy Morton to further his knowledge. In 2006 he spent several days with Kevin Willson in the UK working on carving and also styling yamadori pines.

Has also worked on stage at conventions with Gary Marchal from the USA and Salvatore Liporace from Italy.

Lindsay prefers to demonstrate on mature trees and has built his collection mainly with mature trees and collected Yamadori.

Lindsay has demonstrated and done workshops for a number of clubs around New Zealand and is happy to continue to do this.

Lindsay is also part of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation as an International Consultant for Australasia and with that he has attended Conventions in Australia, Puerto Rico, and China.


Lynn Slobbe


Martin Walters
Martin Walters

First started bonsai in London in 2002 with a couple of shop bought trees on the roof of his house. On returning to NZ and owning a house with a garden things got more serious. Martin became a student of Bob Langholm 10 years ago and attend his workshops and had private tuition on a regular basis. He has attended workshops by Tony Bebb, Lee Wilson, Rob Kempenski and Nobuyuki Kajiwara.

Martin has attended BCI conferences in Australia and belong to the Auckland and Hamilton bonsai clubs.

He loves working on the refinement of older and collected materials, through wiring and carving and major branch shaping, collecting mugo and black pine trees and has a passion for large cedars. In his collection he has a number of large forrest plantings and chinese style penjing landscapes.

Martin would like to actively push bonsai in NZ in a more artistic direction with the use of our native trees and break some of the more traditional rules.