Ever since Auckland airport was spun off into a seperate corporation, right-wingers have been pushing for it to be sold. The stupidity of this is once again apparent with the airport's announcement of a capital return to shareholders. Two of the chief shareholders are Auckland and Manukau cities, and they stand to benefit to the tune of between 22.4 and 67.2 million dollars. If the councils had followed the right-wingers advice and sold their shares, those millions would be flowing into private pockets, rather than being used for the benefit of ratepayers - which is precisely the point of such privatisations. It's not about "the proper role of government", it's about who benefits - us, or the privatisers.