OPINION: He’s the Covid-19 Minister, the Education Minister, and the Public Service Minister. He’s also the Leader of the House, which means he’s responsible for the government’s law making programme.
Any of those portfolios by themselves is a big job. He has all four of them.
The Covid Response portfolio alone is pretty critical right now - he’s in charge of MIQ, border management, testing systems, track and tracing systems, and managing any resurgence of the virus.
The Education portfolio means he’s in charge of early childhood education, primary schools, secondary schools, tertiary institutions, the Ministry of Education, NZQA, the Education Review Office, and boards of trustees.
All of those are struggling right now, all of those pretty vital.
And his Public Service portfolio means he oversees the state service sector - these are government departments. There are dozens of them. His job is to make sure they’re running properly, and he also oversees the appointments of their chief executives. Again, during Covid, a vital portfolio.
No wonder he’s called the Minister for Everything. He’s pretty much doing everything that’s vital at the moment.
And while he’s a very competent minister, I do worry he’s swamped, overworked, and at risk of burnout.
Heck, most of us feel burnt out just from living through this damned epidemic.
But can you imagine not just living through it, but actually living it. Living it every single hour of every single day.
Living it, making decisions on it, getting too much advice on it, getting constant criticism for it, getting no thanks for it.
So why would anyone want to be Chris Hipkins right now?
You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t, and probably so damned exhausted all the time.
Catch Lloyd Burr Live every weekday from 4pm on Magic Talk.