The identity of a Canterbury businessman charged over a fatal crash will be kept secret for now, after a judge granted an interim name suppression following legal arguments today.

The 50-year-old has been charged with careless driving causing the death of popular Rangiora barman Ben Caldicott-Elwell on December 9 last year.

Caldicott-Elwell, 34, died when his motorbike collided with a trailer on the Tram Rd on-ramp to the Northern Motorway near Kaiapoi, 10km north of Christchurch.

The businessman was charged over the crash last month and he entered a not guilty at Christchurch District Court.


After an application by defence counsel Andrew McCormick, a Community Magistrate granted an interim order suppressing the man's name, occupation, and employer.

McCormick said the man, who holds a senior leadership position within the company, would suffer extreme hardship if his name was published.

The application was supported by the man's employer, who said the company would suffer undue hardship if its name was published in connection to the accused.

NZME challenged the moves, arguing that the thresholds of extreme hardship and undue hardship were not met, and that there were no compelling reasons or very special circumstances why details of both the man's name and his employer should not be published.

While police took a neutral stance, Caldicott-Elwell's family also opposed the man's name being kept secret.

After the crash, and police released details of Caldicott-Elwell's identity, his family say they were unable to grieve privately.

They saw no reason why the defendant should be treated any different, the court heard today.

Judge John Strettell said he understood and sympathised with them but after considering the arguments, made an interim suppression of the man's name and his employer until the start of the trial.


The judge granted the order on the basis that publication of the company's name could potentially result in undue hardship for them. He said he could not disregard the argument for potential undue hardship, "at this stage".

The man will be back in court for a case review hearing on July 9.