Whanganui Mayor Michael Laws has complained to the Independent Police Conduct Authority alleging an officer misrepresented the circumstances around his receiving a ticket for having an unrestrained child in his car.

The outspoken talkshow host was fined after being stopped by police for driving while there was an unrestrained child on the lap of his front passenger.

Police sources told the Herald Mr Laws was pulled over on the Hobson St onramp of Auckland's Southern Motorway on Sunday and issued with an instant $150 ticket.

It is understood he argued that officers use their discretion because he had a sick child beside him.

In a statement today, Mr Laws said the Herald article was "completely misleading".

"My car is equipped with child restraints and child safety is a complete priority. In this particular case, a mother offered a sick and distressed infant some instant comfort, under a unique set of circumstances.

"The early morning journey was directly related to the infant's illness.

"That a police officer then broke the law - in directly contacting the NZ Herald and misrepresenting the situation - is now the subject of legal action," he said.

It is not known who the child was, although Mr Laws' daughter, Lucy, 5, was diagnosed with leukaemia in early 2008.

Mr Laws last night refused to comment on the incident to the Herald because the newspaper would not reveal its sources.

In New Zealand children aged five and under must be strapped into an approved child restraint.

Safe Kids NZ - based at the Starship hospital in Auckland - is in its second year of a campaign pushing for the age to be raised.

When asked if he was denying the ticket had been issued, Mr Laws said:

"I can't possibly comment if police aren't saying anything and you've got this off the record."

Strategic road policing manager, Superintendent John Kelly, also refused to comment.

"Whether or not someone is issued with an infringement notice is a matter between them and the police and as far as I'm concerned it's a privacy matter," he said.

"If Mr Laws were actually issued with a ticket it's a matter of some privacy between him and the police, we don't make an announcement about every ticket we issue."

- Rachel Tiffen with NZPA