Associate Professor eviscerated for using false name

Wed, 30 Jan, 2019

A prominent University of Auckland law professor has been outed for writing fraudulent letters to the editor against the End of Life Choice Bill.

 

In the Gisborne Herald today Martin Hanson wrote a scathing column on prolific letter writer "Stephen Francis," outing him as Stephen Penk.

 

"A certain "Stephen Francis" has written letters to The Dominion Post, The Gisborne Herald, Southland Times, Hawke's Bay Today, Rodney Times, The Northland Age and most recently the Whanganui Chronicle, all arguing against David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill," he says.

 

"Stephen Francis'" letter writing career also managed to touch the New Zealand Herald and a slew of Auckland suburban papers.

 

Hanson goes on to point out that Associate Professor Penk is the father of Helensville MP Chris Penk and Maxim Institute CEO Alex Penk.

 

"Stephen Penk is also the father of Chris Penk, MP for Helensville, and Alex Penk, who runs the Conservative Maxim Institute [...] Perhaps Stephen Penk is too shy to put his own name to the public campaign against voluntary euthanasia, but his submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee outlining legal arguments in opposition under his real name belies that. Or could it be that three Penks writing to newspapers could be one Penk too many?"

 

Hanson then points out the oddity of Penk defending his own MP son under an alias. "Stephen Penk, alias Stephen Francis, has put himself in the very odd position of publicly commenting on a letter by his son to The Gisborne Herald and demanding an apology on his behalf [...]"

 

"Nobody," says ACT Leader and End of Life Choice Bill Sponsor David Seymour, "should feel unable to use their proper name in this debate, nor should anyone need to exaggerate the support for their cause using fake names."

 

A link to the original article can be found here.