Phil Twyford backs down from 'kids in Treasury' statement

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has issued something close to an apology (but distinctly not an apology) after the Prime Minister rebuked him for calling Treasury officials "kids".

On Friday, after the information in Budget 2018 forecast a slowdown in residential investment, Mr Twyford called the officials "kids fresh out of university".

On Tuesday afternoon when pressed by arch-nemesis Judith Collins in the House, he didn't stand by his comments.

"I accept the Prime Minister's advice that this went a little too far, but I agree with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance that Treasury's forecast was wrong."

Ms Collins asked him why he made the comments in the first place.

"Because I was frustrated at forecasts made by Treasury that were blatantly wrong," Mr Twyford answered.

On Thursday, Mr Twyford said Treasury's "bean counters" are too removed from the industry and he prefers forecasts made by officials at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

"I don't agree with Treasury's numbers. They've made some very questionable assumptions," the minister told Newshub on Thursday.

"Some of these kids in Treasury are fresh out of university, and they are completely disconnected from reality."