It is probably fair to say that during Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's nine years as an MP in Opposition, she never once thought of it as a "luxury".
Yet for at least a brief moment this week, it must have seemed that way.
After persistent questioning from National Party leader Simon Bridges about moving out of lockdown, Ardern said Bridges had the luxury of being in Opposition so was not accountable for decisions. She, however, was accountable and so she would be cautious.
Ardern is right: the price of governing is accountability.
Nor is it a small price.
It explains why Ardern has been so cautious about lifting restrictions on people and businesses, even as the cost of the lockdown on those people and businesses goes up and up.
That is not just an economic cost, but one of heartbreak as well – in recent days, Ardern has had to confront the stories of those who were not able to be with loved ones as they died, or as they gave birth. There are also those who have not been able to get the medical treatment they sorely needed.
Ardern has judged that the short-term cost is worth the long-term gains.
At such times, the Prime Minister's chair must feel a bit like the spiky Iron Throne in Game of Thrones.
But government also brings many delights – including power and privileges.
It also brings easy relevancy.
This week's release of the unemployment statistics for the first three months of the year provided a timely glimpse of where we would have been had Covid-19 not come along.
Unemployment was at 4.2 per cent for the March quarter. That was only a nudge higher than the quarter before when it was at 4 per cent – the lowest it had been since the global financial crisis.
The release of the figures prompted a rather wistful "those were the days" press release from Finance Minister Grant Robertson, trying to remind people that Labour had the economy in hand until Covid-19 came along.
Bridges, too, will be looking back wistfully at those early months of the year – not least because the National Party's poll numbers were just as rosy as the unemployment figures.
Then National's campaign strategy was also obvious: an unrelenting focus on those areas in which the Government had not delivered as it had promised.
Ardern's term will now be judged more by disasters than delivery.
Bridges is not one to give up on chewing a juicy bone that easily – he has simply changed the angle from which he is chewing it.
Speaking to a Business NZ audience this week, Bridges said National would soon roll out its own infrastructure policies, a critical part of the Covid-19 stimulus plan.
Labour also has extensive infrastructure proposals.
But Bridges new angle on the bone was that voters could depend on National to actually deliver on that infrastructure programme – again pointing to projects such as KiwiBuild.
In that speech, he also set out an estimated $8 billion on GST refunds for cash-strapped businesses, and $1.5 billion in depreciation write-offs for new capital investments by firms.
Bridges himself acknowledged the rarity of such a large policy proposal, saying his predecessors, Sir John Key and Sir Bill English, "never had the ability or wherewithal to give a $9 billion speech, which is what we've just done today. These times call for that."
Bridges had no choice but to start making announcements – he could not sit on the sidelines forever harrumphing at Ardern without being able to answer what National could do.
Yet that policy package got precious little attention beyond a few news reports. Even Labour barely put in an effort to trash it. Nor did Bridges' wider thoughts about the need to target Covid-19 spending rather than get into a free-for-all.
That may have been because the announcement was overshadowed by the 1pm daily briefing by the PM and the director-general of health and Ardern's virtual meeting with Australia's National Cabinet about a transtasman travel accord.
It may have been because voters' minds are not remotely engaged in what might happen after an election in four months.
Or, more worryingly for Bridges, it may have been because people do not think there will be a change of government any time soon, so his ideas are simply something for the never-never.
Where Bridges has managed to find airtime, NZ First leader Winston Peters is frantically trying to steal it.
In some ways, Peters has edged slightly back into the role of Opposition, clearly not happy to give the National Party all the running on pushing for the economy to re-open.
This has resulted in Peters making it clear he wants level 2 to come sooner rather than later and a transtasman travel bubble sooner rather than later.
Peters has cut across the more cautious approach taken by Ardern – his goal clearly being to portray NZ First as being the more oppositional, pro-economy voice in the Cabinet. He wants to take some credit come the day when the lockdown restrictions are eased.
It is a fair bet Peters will be happy to loudly take the credit if all goes well when that happens – but will be happy for Ardern to take the accountability if it turns to custard again.