New Zealand state TV has apologised to viewers concerned at footage of their prime minister breastfeeding.

Jacinda Ardern was discussing her nationwide ban on plastic bags in a segment for Television New Zealand's (TVNZ) 1 News.

Following her announcement, she retreated to back of the room to feed her daughter.

A 1 News camera filmed the politician, sparking a social media storm at odds with the leader's comfortable approach to caring for her child at work.

She told The Guardian that since Neve Te Aroha was born, she has broke off to breastfeed at work roughly every three hours, sometimes during briefings.

The footage sparked outrage among viewers, leading the state channel to issue a statement saying: 'We got it wrong.'

They removed the video following pressure and arguments over the clip online, The West reports.

'Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was discussing the issue of single-use plastic bags and that should have been our focus,' a TVNZ spokeswoman said. 'We accept the criticism. We got it wrong.'

It wasn't just viewers outraged at the clip, as Newstalk ZB host Andrew Dickens aired his anger during his show.

The journalist questioned how the footage could even have been allowed due to strict rules about filming Neve.

Some were concerned that the child's privacy was being threatened as they pointed to the prime minister covering her daughter's face to protect her.

But others turned on the politician herself, with one criticising Ardern and saying she'd used her daughter as a prop.

However, the founder of Mothers Helpers, Kristina Paterson, told the New Zealand Herald that Ardern was setting a wonderful example for working mothers.

She did say the channel had violated the prime minister's privacy and argued her express consent should be sought for filming the baby.