Chris Hipkins defends Willie Jackson, Grant Robertson's personal attacks on National MPs

Chris Hipkins is defending Willie Jackson and Grant Robertson after the former dubbed Chris Bishop "thick" and the latter called Nicola Willis a "liar".

Jackson, the Associate Housing Minister, made his comments in the House last week and was subsequently forced to apologise.

"The member can't get it through his thick head that the minister was making those comments in a previous life - 10 years ago," Jackson said of Bishop. "So get it through your thick head that this member here totally supports the Government and we support minister Russell, 100 percent."

Jackson told Parliament Bishop's questions were getting "stupider and stupider". His questions were about Cabinet minister Deborah Russell, who made comments a decade ago - prior to becoming an MP - that removing interest deductibility for landlords was a "bad idea". 

"The member is talking about what someone said 10 years ago. We have a member here who totally supports what the Government are saying," Jackson said.

During his weekly Tuesday interview with AM, Hipkins was asked if Jackson's language reflected positively on him.

"Willie's always had relatively colourful language," Hipkins said.

"If I had a conversation with him every time that he'd said something that perhaps uses language that I wouldn't use, then we'd be talking even more regularly than we already are.

"You know what you get with Willie."

Hipkins also had no qualms about the language used by his Finance Minister Robertson, who called National deputy leader Willis a "liar" on live radio and later refused to apologise. Robertson was responding to claims by Willis, also National's finance spokesperson, that Labour made a $250 million mistake on its GST policy.  

"Nicola Willis was simply making things up and I think Grant Robertson calling her out on that is actually an acceptable thing to do," Hipkins said.

"She had no basis for the claims that she was making. People can form their own judgements on whether that's a lie or not but if you're just making something up and making allegations against another Member of Parliament, and they want to call you out and say, 'That's not true', I think that's a very legitimate thing to do."

National leader Christopher Luxon told AM on Wednesday he was unfazed by the comments.

"What you're seeing there is… they get personal and there's no need for that, but things go personal when you've got no track record to run on and you've got no ideas to take the country forward with."