‘Purely private’, really?

LETTER

It seems that despite recent adverse publicity, Stephen Penk has not learned his lesson but has continued to ride roughshod over the Eighth Commandment.

In a recent news item in The Dominion Post (Feb 5) headed “Law professor uses false name”, Mr Penk is quoted by Thomas Manch as saying “I was writing in a purely private capacity, and did not want my views purportedly associated with, or attributed to, the Auckland Law School, as might have been the case if my surname had been included”.

Yet in his oral submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee deliberating on assisted dying he went out of his way to draw attention to his Law School connections by introducing himself as “Stephen Penk, Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the University of Auckland”.

And as for his statement that he “didn’t intend to mislead”, a false name is, by definition, misleading.

In the context of the Eighth Commandment it would have been better had he remained silent and followed the First Rule of Holes: when one is in one, it’s best to stop digging.

Martin Hanson, Nelson

It seems that despite recent adverse publicity, Stephen Penk has not learned his lesson but has continued to ride roughshod over the Eighth Commandment.

In a recent news item in The Dominion Post (Feb 5) headed “Law professor uses false name”, Mr Penk is quoted by Thomas Manch as saying “I was writing in a purely private capacity, and did not want my views purportedly associated with, or attributed to, the Auckland Law School, as might have been the case if my surname had been included”.

Yet in his oral submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee deliberating on assisted dying he went out of his way to draw attention to his Law School connections by introducing himself as “Stephen Penk, Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the University of Auckland”.

And as for his statement that he “didn’t intend to mislead”, a false name is, by definition, misleading.

In the context of the Eighth Commandment it would have been better had he remained silent and followed the First Rule of Holes: when one is in one, it’s best to stop digging.

Martin Hanson, Nelson

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Alida Van Der Velde, Waikanae - 5 months ago
Mr Penk Sr will be remembered by many as the associated Professor of Law participating in real debates regarding the End of Life Choice Bill in various papers, persistently using a false name and being unable to apologise profusely for doing so -despite having been given generous opportunity to do so. We reap what we sow, Mr Penk. How can anything you state regarding the End of Life Choice Bill be taken at face value in future?