A wheelchair-bound man who allegedly drove a car using a walking stick has denied the offending.

Manurewa man Fabian Richard Graham, 32, appeared in Manukau District Court today where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of dangerous driving.

Graham "took dangerous driving to a new level" according to police, who pulled him over at a checkpoint on October 22.

His licence allowed him to operate only a vehicle with hand-held controls, because he had no use of his legs, police said.


"[A man] was found to be in a regular vehicle, without hand controls, but using a shortened walking stick to operate the brake and accelerator," Sergeant Mark Fleming of Counties Manukau police said at the time.

After appearing in court, Graham - who said he had been paralysed from the chest down after a car crash 15 years ago - said the ability to drive was hugely important to him.

"That's my independence," he said.

"It gets me to the doctors, I can go shopping."

He was advised by his lawyer Michael Meyrick not to discuss how long he had been driving.

Graham said he had a 12-year battle with ACC over access to funding for a modified car

He thought it was over a couple of weeks ago when it granted his application but he said the decision was quickly reversed.

Mr Meyrick said they were in the process of appealing.

But ACC said they had tried to provide Graham with driving lessons in a special vehicle since 2012, which he chose not to follow up.

"ACC has been funding mobility taxis for Mr Graham to get him to and from appointments, and to allow him to access his community as needed," spokeswoman Stephanie Melville said.

It is alleged Graham was stopped on Everglade Drive in Manukau last month with the help of police's new Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology.

Police said the driver had a learner licence since 2002 and was driving with two passengers - neither of whom were licenced - on the day in question.

The maximum penalty for dangerous driving is a prison term of three months or a fine of up to $4500.

The offence also comes with a mandatory six-month driving disqualification.

But Mr Meyrick indicated the manner of his client's driving would be hotly contested.

Graham was remanded on bail to an Otahuhu address and ordered not to drive unless behind the wheel of an appropriately modified vehicle.