National MP Tim Costley apologises to Labour's Grant Robertson over shower comment

National MP for Ōtaki Tim Costley has apologised for a comment he made about Labour's Grant Robertson in the House.

Speaking on the Local Government Amendment Bill last Thursday, Costley had criticised the previous Labour government and accused it of telling people how long they could stay in the shower.

"I just don't fundamentally believe in the concept of, A, 'Wellington knows best and we're just going to tell you how to live your life'," he said.

"Geez, we had it during the last one, you were getting told how long you're allowed to stay in the shower. I don't like the thought of Grant Robertson inspecting me in the shower, quite frankly. But this is the attitude they've just purveyed from that side of the House."

Robertson, a former Finance Minister who recently announced his retirement, is openly gay.

He was sitting opposite Mr Costley in the debating chamber at the time.

Costley stood ahead of Question Time on Tuesday, the first time since his comments Parliament had sat, saying he did not intend to cause offence.

"Last Thursday in a debate towards the end of the day, I made an unparliamentary remark which I know some members took offence at. I would like to apologise unreservedly for this, I did not mean to cause offence."

It is understood Robertson raised the comment with Costley after it was made and flagged his concerns about it.

National's Leader of the House Chris Bishop and Labour's Shadow Leader of the House Kieran McAnulty met on Tuesday and agreed Costley should apologise.