Phil Rudd, the Australian-born drummer with rock band AC/DC, has pleaded guilty in a New Zealand court to charges of threatening to kill and possession of drugs, his lawyer said.

Rudd, 60, who has been on bail since his arrest last November, reversed an earlier not guilty plea and admitted to one charge of threatening to kill, as well as possession of cannabis and methamphetamine.

A second charge of threatening to kill, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in jail, was withdrawn.

The district court in the seaside city of Tauranga, about 200 km (125 miles) south east of Auckland, heard from Rudd's lawyer Craig Tuck that "this matter essentially revolved around an angry phone call, that was it."

An original charge of trying to procure murder was withdrawn because of a lack of evidence.

Rudd, who was silent in court apart from entering his guilty plea, will be sentenced in late June.

Rudd has lived in Tauranga since he was sacked from the blues-rock band in 1983. He rejoined in 1994, but has remained in New Zealand, where he owns a restaurant.