ERA rocks AC/DC star's privacy plan

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 05:00 02/03/2014

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A famous rock drummer who likes to turn it up on stage has argued to keep his name silent while his restaurant is dragged through the Employment Relations Authority.

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has owned Phil's Place in Tauranga since 2011. Three former staff have taken the restaurant to the ERA over an employment dispute but Rudd tried to have his name suppressed from the proceedings.

He told the ERA he was "a well-known musician with security concerns if his identity was revealed", a decision released last week revealed.

Rudd argued he was a witness but there was "prurient" interest by the media and naming him could have a negative impact on his business and affect his ability "to move about the community".

But Rudd had already been linked to the employment dispute in media reports in October 2013 and ERA member Tania Tetitaha said there were no exceptional circumstances to warrant name suppression.

"Mr Rudd's involvement with Phil's Place Ltd is well known. His celebrity status was being used to promote the restaurant. Mr Rudd and respondent business have been actively publicising their connection," Tetitaha said. "Mr Rudd was intimately involved in the cause of action giving rise to this dispute. He was not a passive bystander."

Tetitaha said the fact newspapers had already identified Rudd's involvement meant an order would be useless.

Rudd has been in AC/DC since the mid-1970s, apart from a hiatus between 1983 and 1994, during which time he moved to Tauranga and bought a helicopter company.

He rejoined the band in late 1993 after they toured New Zealand and invited him to jam with them.

AC/DC, one of the biggest-earning bands of all time, has sold more than 200 million albums.

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