5,970 results for Victoria University of Wellington

  • Design foundations: Towards a model of style grammar in creative drawing

    Sweo, Jennie (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A style grammar is a principled rule set that governs the organization of very complex ideas. It allows for the examination of underlying structures which are often times obscured. Style grammars have been developed for many fields such as writing, fashion and architecture but to date there is no style grammar for creative drawing. The research identifies the necessary visual features and core traits associated with each feature towards developing such a model for creative drawings. Then operational measures are defined using the computer to extract and measure the core traits of those features towards developing a model of style grammar in drawing. These visual features include line, tone, and depth. Core traits include line length, line width, line expressiveness, local tone, global tone, texture, pattern, outline, shape, and position. A multidimensional scaling (MDS) using input from 27 subjects, 10 art experts and 17 novices, supported the overall list of visual features and added the dimension of smudge to the list. A second MDS sort discusses issues with images and large art categorical sorts from the standpoint of both human perception and machine measures that were obtained using feature extraction. It was concluded from the results of the second MDS that large art categories were too broad to be useful in evaluating measures to develop the model. Further analysis was run using only drawings from three artists, two impressionists to compare similarity and one expressionist for dissimilarity to determine if the machine measures of the core traits of the visual features were able to differentiate smaller groupings of consistent drawing styles. Using the computer allowed for systematic and objective procedures to be used to obtain measures. The multinomial logistic regression showed high significance for all the traits except marginal significance for line length and no significance for depth. Binomial logistic regressions run on each pair of artists showed high significance for all the traits except depth. The combined positive results of the first MDS card sort and the binomial and multinomial regression analysis provide proof of concept and offer strong support towards the development of a model of style grammar for creative drawings. Implications for teaching drawing using the identified visual features and core traits are offered. The outcomes and analysis provided in this research currently support a general practice rule in design reuse and intelligent borrowing that suggests first smudge, then depth, then tone, and then line quality are the most significant elements to use for style comparison. Discussions for future research including improved measures and other types of perception testing are provided towards further development of the model.

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  • Effects of constant incubation regimes on eggs and hatchlings of the egg-laying skink, Oligosoma suteri

    Hare, Kelly Maree (2001)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The conditions under which reptilian eggs are incubated affect survival probability and physiological attributes of the progeny. The egg-laying skink, Oligosoma suteri, is the only endemic oviparous lizard in New Zealand. No controlled laboratory incubation had previously been undertaken, and thus no information was available on the requirements for successful captive incubation. I studied the effects of incubation regime on the eggs and hatchlings of O. suteri to four months of age. Oligosoma suteri eggs (n = 174) were randomly distributed among three constant incubation temperatures (18°C, 22°C and 26°C) and two water potentials (-120 kPa and -270 kPa). Hatching success and hatchling survival were greatest at 22°C and 26°C, with hatchlings from 18°C incubation suffering from physical abnormalities. Incubation regime and maternal influence did not affect sex of individuals, with equal sex ratios occurring from each incubation treatment. Hatchlings from the 22°C and -120 kPa incubation treatments were larger, for most measurements, and warmer incubation temperatures resulted in increased growth rates. Juveniles from 22°C and 26°C and individuals with greater mass per unit length (condition index) sprinted faster over 0.25 m. Sprint speed was positively correlated with ambient temperature. At four months of age sprint speed decreased in 18°C individuals and individuals incubated at 26°C and -270 kPa compared to their performance at one month. The results suggest that the most successful captive incubation regime for O. suteri is 22°C and -120 kPa. This study also shows that temperature-dependent sex determination does not occur in O. suteri, but that fitness traits are influenced by incubation temperature.

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  • How did I as a student music therapist, use songwriting techniques to facilitate self-expression with adolescents in a mental health school setting?

    Johnson, Emma (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The purpose of this research was to understand how a student music therapist was able to facilitate self-expression using specific songwriting techniques, during long term and short term, group and individual music therapy sessions. Long term is considered a four-month period of weekly sessions, and short term is considered a single session. This research took place at an educational facility where I was working with adolescents with various mental health issues. In this exegesis, I discuss the various definitions of self-expressions as defined in literature, and consider the ways this relates to songwriting methods chosen and applied during therapy. A qualitative method of research was used, using secondary analysis of data collected from five months of Music Therapy practice. Thematic analysis was applied to clinical notes from sessions, student review statements and personal reflective practitioner journal. I was guided by music therapy literature discussing songwriting that I had been drawing on for the benefit of my practice. My analysis revealed that I developed specifically tailored methods and techniques for individuals and groups, which would begin with how they would like to approach their songwriting. I also found, that alongside more well documented techniques such as lyric writing and composition, improvisation and song planning were of high value to my practice and therefore were included as therapeutic songwriting techniques in my findings.

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  • You are not worth the risk: The ethics of statistical discrimination in organisational selection of applicants

    Scholes, Vanessa (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Your job application is rejected unseen because you ticked a box admitting you smoke. The employer screened out applicants who ticked the 'smoker' box, because she had read empirical studies that suggest smokers, as a group, are a higher productivity risk than non-smokers. What distinctive ethical concerns inhere in the organisational practice of discriminating against applicants on the basis of group risk statistics? I argue that risk-focussed statistical discrimination is morally undesirable due to the lack of respect for applicants as unique autonomous agents. However, I argue further that the decision-making context affects the morality of this discrimination. Other things being equal, the morality of statistical discrimination varies depending on the purpose of the organisation, the level of detail in the discrimination, and whether the discrimination is transparent to applicants and includes some benefit for applicants. Because organisations may have good reason to use risk-focussed statistical discrimination when assessing applicants, I present some recommendations for decision-makers to mitigate the lack of respect for applicants as individual agents. Organisational decision-makers can focus on the extent to which the statistical data they use comprise i) factors that feature efforts and achievements of the applicant; ii) dynamic rather than static factors; and iii) data drawn from the applicant’s own history and actions over time.

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  • Negotiating multiple identities in educational contexts: Stories of Tamil Heritage Language Users as Multilingual Malaysians

    Sithraputhran, Thilegawathy (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Malaysia is a multilingual and multicultural society comprising of ethnic Malays (dominant group) followed by ethnic Chinese, Indians and other indigenous groups. The national language is Malay and English is the second language. Heritage languages such as Mandarin and Tamil are used as the language of instruction in some primary schools. This study explores how a group of Tamil Heritage Language Users from Tamil primary schools (THLU-Ts) at a private university recounted maneuvering through their multilingual world during their early lives at Tamil primary school, at state secondary school (Malay) and then at a private university (English). Nine first year undergraduate participants were selected from a private university in Malaysia where English is the medium of instruction. They were selected as THLU-Ts based on two criteria. Firstly, they were ethnic Tamils and secondly, they had completed six years of primary education at Tamil primary school. I used photovoice interviews to construct their narratives. The participants, prompted by photographs they brought as artefacts, described their language experiences in a multilingual setting. The participants’ voices were storied into narratives based on three narrative inquiry strategies of broadening, burrowing and restorying. Two in-depth interviews were conducted over a six month period and these were video-taped and transcribed. The interview transcript from each first interview contributed to a narrative summary or story. This was a general description of the participant and events (broadening stage). The second interview was held towards the end of the semester. During the second interview, participants were asked to reflect on their narrative summaries (which had been distributed earlier) and comment on them. I sought data to reexamine the existing data (burrowing stage) before rewriting a complete and coherent story (restorying) for each participant. This story was also individually reviewed by each participant. Data analysis was an iterative process that included storying and coding. I identified three broad themes and then examined them in the light of relevant literature. This analysis allowed me to understand how the THLU-Ts shaped their identities during social interactions with different linguistic communities in Malaysia, including THLU-Ms (ethnic Tamils from national primary schools) and non-Tamils (Malays and Chinese). Initially, THLU-Ts faced challenges as they transitioned to secondary school coming from a Tamil- medium primary school. At secondary school, they had to adjust to a Malay linguistic environment for the first time. As their proficiency in Malay grew, they felt they were accepted as authentic members of the academic community. When they entered the English-medium university, there was pressure to develop proficiency in English. They repositioned themselves once again and made deliberate language choices during social interaction with other linguistic communities. When the findings were viewed through Blommaert’s sociolinguistic scales, it was apparent that participants scaled languages depending on the value assigned to each one (Malay, English and Tamil). This reflected the way language was used in society. As powerful multilinguals who invested in a multilingual repertoire, participants displayed linguistic accommodation. These findings suggest a need for educators and policy makers to reassess the role and importance of HL education. Currently, the Malaysian education policy is silent on its commitment to HL education in Malaysia. Yet, this research supports the One Malaysia concept which stresses unity in diversity and encourages educational policies to take a pro-multilingual stance.

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  • Can a gut helminth parasite influence Th2 inflammatory responses in the skin?

    Meijlink, Kimberley Jayne (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Helminth parasites are one of the most common infectious agents of humans and cause significant health and economic burdens in the countries they are endemic in, making elimination an important goal. However, epidemiological studies have suggested an inverse correlation between the incidences of infections by helminth parasites in humans and autoimmune and allergic disease prevalence worldwide; it is thought the eradication of parasites in more affluent countries through improved hygiene is an important factor for the increasing incidence of autoimmune and allergic diseases encountered in the Western world. A Th2 immune response is central in providing immunity against helminth parasites, while suppressing T helper (Th) 1/Th17-mediated inflammation and inducing wound repair mechanisms. Helminths have developed strategies to directly regulate the immune response against them to ensure their own survival. Experimental evidence has demonstrated helminths are also able to dampen inflammatory bystander immune responses in their host, via induction of regulatory mechanisms such as regulatory T cells. These studies have focused primarily on the suppression of food and airway allergies in mouse models and there is limited data on the effect of helminth parasites on skin allergy e.g. atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic/chronically relapsing Th2 inflammatory skin condition, characterized by skin lesions, dry itchy skin and impaired skin barrier function. This is believed to allow the entrance of other allergens into the body more easily, leading to sensitization and initiation of other allergies later in life, a process termed the ‘Allergic March’. With the increased incidence of allergy in the Western world, it is desirable to find new therapies to suppress AD and the onset of the allergic march. During my Masters, I have investigated whether the gut-dwelling mouse parasite Heligmosomoides polygyrus was able to suppress Th2 responses induced in skin tissue using two different allergy models: 1) intradermal injection (ID) of whole mashed-up house dust mite (HDM), which induces Th2 inflammatory responses, and 2) topical application of the chemical hapten dibutyl phthalate-fluorescein isothiocyanate (DBP-FITC), mimicking allergic responses seen in AD. The results show that H. polygyrus induces interleukin (IL)-4 production in tissues distal to the gut, including the ear skin tissue, mainly from cluster of differentiation (CD) 4⁺ T cells. Furthermore, helminth infection was able to suppress Th2-mediated inflammation in the skin in both house dust mite and DBP-FITC models, coinciding with an increase in the proportions of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in skin-associated lymph nodes (LNs). This research further demonstrates the potential use of helminth parasites, or their products, as a therapy for allergic diseases, including those of the skin.

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  • The Environmental Regulation of Marine Carbon Capture and Storage in New Zealand: Principles, Barriers and Gaps

    Severinsen, Gregory (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis concerns the regulation of a technology called carbon capture and storage (CCS). The technology is one way to mitigate anthropogenic climate change, by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at point sources (such as power or industrial plants) and injecting them into deep underground geological formations. Specifically, the thesis looks at the framework of public environmental law that is needed for CCS in New Zealand where injection occurs offshore in its coastal marine area and exclusive economic zone. The thesis concludes that, when tested against existing principles in New Zealand's environmental law and the requirements of international law, current provisions in domestic law contain both significant barriers and gaps. These barriers must be removed and gaps must be filled. The thesis identifies three broad features of New Zealand's law that give rise to a range of barriers and that need to be addressed. First, there is substantial uncertainty as to how existing provisions would apply to CCS. Greater certainty is needed. Secondly, the classification of CCS as a form of marine dumping presents a significant barrier. The technology needs to be classified differently, and more positively. Thirdly, the law contains a general prohibition on considering the effects of activities on climate change. This may prevent CCS being deployed in practice, and needs to be reconsidered. New Zealand's existing law also contains three potential gaps, which must be filled. First, there is a dearth of CCS-specific regulatory and policy provisions within existing regimes such as the Resource Management Act 1991. This means operators and regulators would be operating in a regulatory and policy vacuum. Decisions may be inconsistent, fail to impose appropriate environmental standards, or fail to give appropriate weight to relevant considerations. Secondly, there are limitations in the ability of existing regimes to regulate the positive effects of activities – such as climate change mitigation - to ensure that they are actually achieved. Thirdly, existing law does not facilitate the kind of targeted and comparative decision-making process needed for CCS. This means that it does not provide an effective process for resolving tensions between competing resource interests in the sub-seabed.

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  • A Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise Lost? The Role of Preferences and Planning in Achieving Urban Sustainability in Wellington, New Zealand

    Dodge, Nadine (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis investigates the scope for compact development to accommodate population growth in Wellington, New Zealand. The topic is particularly significant for New Zealand as the great majority of the population lives in urban areas, historical development has been dominated by low density urban form, and transport and urban form are two of the main domains in which the country can reduce its carbon emissions. The influence of urban planning and residents’ preferences on achieving sustainable outcomes is investigated. Historical and current planning rules and transport policies in the City are analysed to determine their influence on the provision of compact development. Wellington’s transport policy shows a pattern of path dependency: historical decisions to favour car oriented investment have driven subsequent transport investments and influenced the ease of using different transport modes. Planning policies show a similar pattern of path dependency: planning rules enacted in the 1960s endure in present planning despite being packaged with different justifications and regulatory regime. Current planning rules severely restrict infill development in most existing neighbourhoods, which reduces the availability of housing in accessible medium density neighbourhoods and likely increases the cost of this type of housing. A stated choice survey was conducted of 454 residents of Wellington City to investigate the extent to which there is an unmet demand for compact development and alternatives to car travel. The survey held presentation mode constant across two completion modes (internet and door to door with tablet completion), allowing the impacts of recruitment and completion mode to be examined. Survey recruitment mode appeared to influence both response rates and the representativeness of the survey, while completion mode appeared to have little or no impact on survey responses. Using the stated choice survey results, a latent class model was developed to examine the preferences of residents and the trade-offs they are willing to make when choosing where to live. This type of model allows for the identification of preference groups as a means of understanding the diversity of preferences across the population. The study found that there is an unmet demand for medium density, accessible housing, but that affordability is a barrier for households to choose this type of housing. There was also an unmet demand for walking and cycling, with more residents currently driving than would prefer to use this mode, and more residents preferring to walk and cycle to work than currently use these modes. The ability to use a desired travel mode appears to be related to the neighbourhood in which a person lives, with residents of medium and high density neighbourhoods being more likely to use their preferred travel mode. This study also modelled future development trajectories for Wellington based on demand for housing, neighbourhood and transport attributes. This preference based growth model was contrasted with the City’s plan for development over the next 30 years. Comparing the two scenarios, the planning based trajectory performed better than the demand based scenario in terms of both carbon emissions and achieving compact development.

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  • Towards an integrated multi-scale zero energy building framework for residential buildings

    Nsaliwa, Dekhani (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In most developed economies, buildings are directly and indirectly accountable for at least 40% of the final energy use. Consequently, most world cities are increasingly surpassing sensitive environmental boundaries and continue to reach critical biophysical thresholds. Climate change is one of the biggest threats humanity faces today and there is an urgent need to reduce energy use and CO₂ emissions globally to zero or to less than zero, to address climate change. This often leads to the assumption that buildings must reduce energy demand and emit radically less CO₂ during construction and occupation periods. Certainly, this is often implemented through delivering ‘zero energy buildings’. The deployment of residential buildings which meet the zero energy criteria thereby allowing neighborhoods and cities to convert to semi-autonomous energy systems is seen to have a promising potential for reducing and even eliminating energy demand and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. However, most current zero energy building approaches focus solely on operational energy overlooking other energy uses such as embodied energy and user transport energy. Embodied energy constitutes all energy requirements for manufacturing building materials, construction and replacement. Transport energy comprises the amount of energy required to provide mobility services to building users. Zero energy building design decisions based on partial evaluation and quantification approaches might result in an increased energy demand at different or multiple scales of the built environment. Indeed, recent studies have demonstrated that embodied and transport energy demands account for more than half of the total annual energy demand of residential buildings built based on zero energy criteria. Current zero energy building frameworks, tools and policies therefore may overlook more than ~80% of the total net energy balance annually. The original contribution of this thesis is an integrated multi-scale zero energy building framework which has the capacity to gauge the relative effectiveness towards the deployment of zero energy residential buildings and neighborhoods. This framework takes into account energy requirements and CO₂ emissions at the building scale, i.e. the embodied energy and operation energy demands, and at the city scale, i.e. the embodied energy of related transport modes including infrastructure and the transport operational energy demand of its users. This framework is implemented through the development of a quantification methodology which allows the analysis and evaluation of energy demand and CO₂ emissions pertaining to the deployment of zero energy residential buildings and districts. A case study, located in Auckland, New Zealand is used to verify, validate and investigate the potential of the developed framework. Results confirm that each of the building (embodied and operational) and transport (embodied and operational) energy requirements represent a very significant share of the annual overall energy demand and associated CO₂ emissions of zero energy buildings. Consequently, rather than the respect of achieving a net zero energy building balance at the building scale, the research has revealed that it is more important, above all, to minimize building user-related and transportation energy demand at the city scale and maximize renewable energy production coupled with efficiency improvements at grid level. The application of the developed evaluation framework will enable building designers, urban planners, researchers and policy makers to deliver effective multi-scale zero energy building strategies which will ultimately contribute to reducing the overall environmental impact of the built environment today.

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  • Identifying pedagogical innovation in cultural minority classrooms: A cultural historical activity theory and appreciative inquiry perspective in the Philippines and New Zealand

    Abella, Ivy Samala (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This is a multiple case study which investigates teachers’ pedagogical innovations in cultural minority classrooms using Cultural Historical Activity Theory and Appreciative Inquiry as theoretical lens. Pedagogical innovation refers to a new idea or the development of an existing product, process, strategy, or method in teaching and learning that is applied in a specific context with the intention to create added value or the potential to improve student learning. The purpose of the study was to investigate teachers’ pedagogical innovations in cultural minority classrooms; the ways in which teachers mediate the learning of their students through pedagogical innovations in cultural minority classrooms; and how individual teachers’ school environments promote or inhibit the implementation of pedagogical innovations in cultural minority classrooms. A total of nine teachers and their classes from five public or state secondary schools in the Philippines and Aotearoa New Zealand participated in the study. Data were collected using observations, talanoa, audio-visual recordings, and documents, which consisted of lesson plans, school newsletters, and publications. Data were analysed within and across cases using a thematic approach and a comparative approach in relation to the five standards of effective pedagogy. The data suggest that there are two aspects to understanding pedagogical innovation in cultural minority classrooms: the tangible aspects or artefacts for learning, and the intangible aspects or appreciative mediation for learning. Artefacts for learning pertain to any human-made objects available in the learning environment such as classrooms, which are essential in engaging student learning. These are concrete manifestations of teachers’ creativity utilised in teaching and learning. Common examples of artefacts for learning used by teachers across all case studies were student modules or kits and teaching instruments such as visual aids, photos, and information and communications technology. Appreciative mediation for learning pertains to the positive and strength-based operations and/or actions, attitudes, behaviours, and outlooks of teachers, which result in student learning. These include genuine appreciation and collaboration with students, teaching initiatives, positive disposition, and self reflection. Factors that affect the implementation of teachers’ pedagogical innovations are grouped into two: the social support system and the structural regulation of the school system. The social support system identified in the study that promoted teachers’ pedagogical innovation, and are common across all case studies, were family, community, school staff, and students. The structural regulation of the school system was found to hinder teachers’ pedagogical innovation. Examples common across all case studies are lack of and/or limited artefacts for learning, inadequate professional development for teachers, impassive curriculum, and poor student attendance.

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  • Accounting for productivity growth in a small open economy: Sector-specific technological change and relative prices of trade

    Cao, Shutao (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Many economies experienced a slowdown of measured productivity in the 2000s, coinciding with the commodity price boom. We use a multisector growth model for a small open economy to quantify the contribution of sector-specific technology and relative prices of trade to productivity slowdown. We show that the effective aggregate total factor productivity consists of two components: the weighted average of sector-specific technology, and the weighted averaged of domestic-export price ratios which reflect export costs. This extends the Domar aggregation result of Hulten (1978). When calibrated to the Canadian data, the model suggests that productivity slowdown was mainly attributed to two sectors: commodity; machinery and equipment. Cross-country data show that, in two thirds of countries that experienced productivity slowdown, slower productivity growth in sectors serving domestic market was a dominant factor, while in the other one third, reduced domestic-export price ratio played a major role.

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  • How does corruption distance affect MNCs' entry ownership strategies and entry performance? A combined lens of transaction cost economics and institutional theory

    Ning, Bo (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Purpose — Government determines the rules of the game that influence the strategies and actions of a firm. Government corruption increases the transaction costs and generates institutional pressures for MNCs. Corrupt countries are often economically attractive emerging markets, which are strategically important for foreign entrants. However, little research has been carried out as to discussing the role of market entry strategies in MNCs entering corrupt host markets. In this thesis, we focus on how firms strategically respond to corrupt environments, as well as how they succeed in the corrupt foreign markets. Theory/Framework — We first scrutinized two fundamental theoretical underpinnings that are pertinent to this research, namely, transaction cost economics (TCE) and the institutional view. Specifically, not only does corruption pervasiveness affect MNCs’ entry decisions, corruption arbitrariness and institutional forces also has important implications. Through a TCE lens, we decomposed the “arbitrary corruption” and focus on country-level arbitrariness, i.e., a “lack of political constraint” and “political instability” in a host country. From an institutional view, we analysed the influence of both external and internal institutional forces, that is, the legitimacy pressure from a host government, as well as the internal pressure driven by the ethical identity of a parent firm (based on the organizational identity theory) in the context of corruption. Drawing on the blended perspectives, we filled in the research gaps by constructing a conceptual model that connects corruption distance with entry ownership strategies, and the subsequent entry performance. Methodology — We manually extracted data regarding foreign market entry behaviours of US listed MNCs from periodical databases using the Event History Analysis (EHA). We ran empirical analysis to demonstrate how corruption and related factors affect MNCs’ entry strategies, and how these strategies produce different entry performance. By using logistic models, the first study examined the impact of corruption distance on MNCs’ strategic ownership choices between joint ventures (JVs) and wholly owned subsidiaries (WOSs), and how corruption arbitrariness and institutional forces respectively moderate the corruption-strategy relationship. The second study employed Heckman two-stage models to examine how corruption distance, selected moderators and entry strategy fit enhance entry performance. Key findings — Empirical findings in Study 1 suggest that as corruption distance increases, MNCs are more likely to choose the JV mode. They tend to choose strategic alliances when entering a host country with fewer political constraints. The results also indicate that both “lack of political constraint” and “political instability” negatively moderate the positive relationship between corruption distance and MNCs’ strategic preference for a JV entry. From an institutional view, the findings indicate that regulatory pressure driven by political intervention, as well as internal constraints in the form of corporate identity, affect firms’ entry decisions. As corruption distance becomes greater, international firms with less salient ethical identities show a greater inclination for local adaptation, whereas their ethically conscious counterparts show little conformity in their strategic response to host-country corruption. Study 2 advances the understanding of how corruption distance and entry strategies affect a foreign subsidiary’s entry performance and answers the subsequent “so-what” question. Employing an EHA-based measure of entry performance, we have found that 1) As corruption distance increases, foreign subunits are less likely to be successful. 2) In relation to the WOS entry, local partnership overcomes competitive disadvantages induced by corruption distance and generates more successful host-market entries. 3) As opposed to wholly controlled investment, local partnering would be more successful where a host country is more politically unconstrained. 4) We confirmed a positive effect of corporate ethical identity on entry success. Contributions/Originalities — Both studies contribute to the marketing strategy research in international markets by linking government corruption and relevant factors with firm strategy and firm performance through dual lenses from TCEs and the institutional theory. The research does not only have theoretical value in demonstrating the implications of corruption distance, but also sheds light on strategic decisions and foreign entry outcomes for international practitioners entering host countries under various transactional costs and institutional conditions.

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  • Brain Gain in Fiji? How do past emigrants’ experiences shape the education decisions and emigration plans of tertiary students in Fiji?

    Mudaliar, Lakshmin Aashnum (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines the case of Fijian youths’ increasing demand for higher education in order to explore the brain gain theorem. Its primary aim is to understand how past emigrants’ experiences shape the education decisions and emigration intentions of tertiary students in Fiji. This is achieved through semi-structured interviews with Fijian youths as well as an examination of policy and media reports. The research questions through which these aims are achieved are: Why do Fijian students enter higher education? Do Fijian students intend to migrate, and if so, why or why not? And what are the constraints and obstacles to Fijian students’ emigration intentions? The central conclusion of this thesis is that the brain gain effect is present in Fiji because half of the student-participants responded to the incentive effect, defined as the prospect of migration raising the expected returns to higher education, which is created by two distinct cultures of migration and three of the Fijian governments’ initiatives. The strength of their social ties determined whether they had perfect or imperfect information about the constraints and obstacles to their emigration intentions which in turn, determined the type of brain gain effect Fijian communities may be experiencing. In this thesis, the relationship between emigration and human capital formation is understood through the notion of the brain gain effect, defined as prospect of migration leads to a higher average level of education per individual in origin countries. Existing empirical studies have employed quantitative methods to establish the correlation between past emigration rates and current enrolment rates. The significance and novelty of this thesis lies in its adoption of qualitative case study methods in which real people were asked what they are doing and why, thus bringing us closer to a causal understanding of the relationship between higher education and emigration. In addition, by including ethnic and skill-level variables in the research design, this thesis shows that those remaining behind after upskilling may be some of Fiji’s ‘best and brightest.’

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  • Ice dynamics of the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier measured at high spatial and temporal resolution, Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand

    Lui, Edmond (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Glaciers are among the clearest of signals for anthropogenic climate change and their retreat is considered symptomatic of the observed warming since the start of the 20th century from anthropogenic sources (Mann et al., 2004). New Zealand has 3,100 mountain glaciers, with those in the Southern Alps experiencing losses of 34% since 1977 and a decline in volume of 51 km3 in 1994 to 41 km3 in 2010 (NIWA, 2011). The direct impact of increasing atmospheric temperatures on glaciers is well understood (Chinn, 2012) through its effects on the melt and accumulation rates (Kirkbride, 2010; Purdie, 2011; Chinn, 1997; Oerlemans, 2001). However lake calving glaciers such as the Tasman Glacier exhibit different behaviour and are suggested to be at least partially decoupled from climate forcing (Benn et al., 2007). Here, I present a temporally and spatially complete study of Haupapa/Tasman Glacier, Aoraki/Mt. Cook over three years to investigate the ice dynamics at the terminus. I used oblique photogrammetry at high resolution for data acquisition and adapted computer vision algorithms for correcting this oblique view to a real-world geometry. This technique has been rarely used (Murray et al., 2015; Messerli and Grinsted, 2015; Ahn and Box, 2010; Harrison et al., 1986 and Flotron, 1973) but owing to its cost-effectiveness and high data yields, it is becoming an increasingly powerful methodology favoured by glaciologists. During the 3 year study period, Tasman Glacier terminus retreat rate Ur was 116 ± 19 m a⁻¹ (2013-2014), 83 ± 18 m a⁻¹ (2014-2015) and 204 ± 20 (2015-2016). A strong seasonal pattern was evident in the calving events. Three major calving events occurred over the study, one occurring in the summer of 2013 and two in the summer of 2016. The latter two events are responsible for the elevated Ur in 2015-2016. These events were characterised as distinct large-magnitude calving (usually as a large tabular iceberg) which continued to drift and break up in the lake for weeks to months. Three large calving events accounted for 47% of the total surface area loss for the 38 month study period with the remaining surface area loss from 2nd order calving including notching at the waterline and the spalling of lamallae of ice from surface fractures, and ice-cliff melt. During the spring/summer months of 2014 and 2015 there was no large buoyancy driven calving event such as those seen in 2013 and 2016, but there were many smaller-magnitude calving events. Smaller-magnitude events were less frequent in winter months as compared to summer months. Ice flow in winter has been shown to be less than in summer (Horgan et al, 2015). While seasonal temperatures and changes to the basal water pressure are linked to these observations, it is also likely that the relatively faster ice flow in summer/autumn could be influencing the rate of 1st and 2nd order calving mechanisms. Overall, the calving rates were calculated as 171 ± 18 m a⁻¹ (2013-2014), 136 ± 17 m a⁻¹ (2014-2015) and accelerated to 256 ± 20 m a⁻¹ in the last year (2015-2016). My results show that almost half of the ice loss at the terminus comes from large, infrequent calving events and that retreat rates for 2015-2016 were high compared to the historic record but the area loss is lower than it has been because of the relatively narrow terminus.

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  • A History of Video Games

    Metuarau, Tuakana (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research begins with the premise that while video-games have become a pervasive cultural force over the last four decades, there is still a dearth of educational and historical material regarding the emergence of video game home consoles and their content. Games have an extensive history, dating back to early radar displays and oscilloscopes of the 1960s (Tennis for Two, 1958) and early home video game consoles of the 1970s (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972). From the JAMMA (Japanese Amusement Machine and Marketing Association) arcade standard of the 80s to the high powered processors of Sonys PS4, video games have come a long way and left a wealth of audio-visual material in their wake. Much of this material, however, is archived and engaged within a traditional manner: through text books or museum exhibitions (Games Master, ACMI 2015). Through interactive design however, this data can be made easily comprehensible and accessible as interactive data-visualisation content. This design research project explores processes of data visualization, interactive design and video game production to open up video game history and communicate its developmental stages in a universally accessible manner. Though there has been research conducted utilising game engines for visualizations in other fields (from landscape architecture to bio-medical science) it has rarely been used to visualize the history of gaming itself. This visualization (utilising the Unreal Engine and incorporating historical video content) creates an accessible preservation and catalogue of video game history, and an interactive graphical interface that allows users to easily learn and understand the history of console development and the processes that lead video games to their current state.

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  • Introducing remote printing into the publishing industry of a small, remote economy: The case of New Zealand

    Fabling, Timothy (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research investigates the expected effects on developed business models of introducing remote printing technology into the New Zealand book publishing industry. Remote printing technology will both address and improve on the constraints of geographical proximity and market size, enabling the New Zealand book publishing industry to collectively grow and experience future prosperity. Aspects of technological innovation and consumer behaviour are examined to explore issues surrounding geographic proximity and supply chain inefficiencies. Criteria are developed using Just-In-Time (JIT) theory and Supply Chain Management (SCM) to evaluate where remote printing technology might best be integrated in the New Zealand book publishing industry’s supply chain. The mutual effects between remote printing technology adoption and the expected effects on business models are evaluated, identifying which model is expected to provide the most significant benefits in a New Zealand context. A case study of six New Zealand book industry respondents was conducted. Qualitative data was collected in semi-structured interviews with members associated within different sectors of the New Zealand book publishing industry. The interview data was supplemented with secondary data sources, including publicly available information about the New Zealand book industry. A within-case and cross-case analysis was performed around the research identified above. By evaluating developed business models and assessing which model/s effectively address the New Zealand context, remote printing offers brick-and-mortar booksellers the ability to better compete with offshore online booksellers. The expected effects remote printing technology will have on the New Zealand book industry are presented. A major contribution to this study is that remote printing technology could in fact have a revolutionary impact on the New Zealand book industry, compared to what has been previously considered.

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  • The Provision of Free and Frank Advice to Government

    Voyce, Evan Williams (1996)

    Master of Public Policy thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper examines the extent to which New Zealand public servants feel able to offer free and frank advice to the Government through Ministers of the Crown. It seeks to define the nature of constitutional conventions; the importance of the free and frank convention to the preservation of an apolitical, independent public service and how and where this convention is captured in the "rules" governing the behaviour of both public servants and the Ministers they serve.

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  • Financial constraints and productivity: Evidence from Canadian SMEs

    Cao, Shutao; Leung, Danny (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The degree to which financial constraints are binding is often not directly observable in commonly used business data sets (e.g., Compustat). In this paper, we measure and estimate the likelihood of a firm being constrained by external financing using a data set of small and medium-sized Canadian firms. Our measure separates the need for financing from the degree of being constrained, conditional on the need for financing. We find that firm size, the current debt-to-asset ratio and cash flow are robust indicators that can be used as a proxy for financial constraint. The total debt-to-asset ratio is not, however, a statistically significant indicator of financial constraint. In addition, firms with higher cash flow are less likely to need external financing and to be constrained if they do need it. We then estimate the firm-level total factor productivity by taking into account the measured likelihood of binding financial constraints. Coefficient estimates for labor and capital in the structural estimation of production function can be downward biased if financial constraints are omitted, because production inputs are negatively correlated with the likelihood of being constrained by external financing. This in turn leads to an upward bias in total factor productivity, which is about 4 percent according to our estimation. Finally, both investment and employment growth are negatively affected by the measured degree of financial constraints, pointing to the contribution of financial constraints to misallocation.

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  • The Impact of the Official Information Act 1982 on the Policy Development Process

    Poot, Edward H. (1997)

    Master of Public Policy thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Official Information Act was passed into statute in 1982. Among the purposes of the Act is the enhancement and respect for the law and the promotion of good government. The aim of this paper is to detennine, from a participation perspective, the impact of the Official Information Act 1982 on the core public sector policy process. The paper starts with a background to the Act before reviewing the expected and actual impact of the Act, as outlined in the literature. The policy making process in New Zealand' s core public sector is considered, highlighting opportunities for participation. Participation theory is discussed. The research involves a survey across the core public sector to gain general views of the impact of the Act on the policy development process. The results are used as the basis for three in-depth case studies of core public sector agencies. The conclusions are that while the Act is an important instrument of accountability, the success of the Act in enabling more effective participation is not so clear. While information is more readily obtainable, technocratic officials and Ministers keen to control information impact on the ability of citizens to participate. It is concluded that for the Act to be of maximum benefit education of officials and a loosening on the control of information will be needed.

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  • An investigation of the effects of large houses on occupant behaviour and resource-use in New Zealand

    Khajehzadeh, Iman (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    According to Statistics New Zealand the average size of new New Zealand houses almost doubled from 1974‐2011 at the same time that occupancy reduced, meaning fewer people live in larger houses. Features of large houses are extra bedrooms, specialised rooms (e.g. study, media room), more than one living space, several bathrooms (including en‐suites), and double/triple garages. This contrasts with what is defined in this thesis as the “core house”, which is a house (or part of a house) consisting of a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and a bedroom for each occupant (assuming couples share a bedroom). Based on this, houses with more space than the appropriate core house for each household are considered as living in some level of large housing. Living in larger houses than necessary means use of more natural resources in terms of construction materials, operating energy and the additional furniture and appliances needed. This study, therefore, aimed to measure resource‐use efficiency in different sized houses and rooms found in NZ houses to show the significance of human decisions on housing energy use. To do this, it used a life‐cycle energy approach to measure resource‐use and reveal the long term environmental impact of house size decision. A 100 year cycle was used to cover typical human lifespan. Using grounded theory, the research developed into four studies: 1‐ An observation of the features of New Zealand houses: Houses advertised for sale in TradeMe website were studied to show the features of New Zealand houses and types of furniture and appliances people keep in their houses. 2‐ Study 1: Based on the observation study, a questionnaire was prepared for a pilot study of 7 households living in small and large houses asking about occupants, type/number of rooms and types/number/location of furniture/appliances in their house. Each occupant also reported where he/she spend his/her time at home indoor for 14 consecutive days. This study revealed any problems with the preliminary questionnaire and also set strategy for the large time‐use survey. 3‐ Study 2: Based on the results of study 1, an online questionnaire based survey was undertaken by families with 4 or fewer members living in NZ owner‐occupied houses. The questionnaire asked for information about family members, type/number of spaces in their home, furniture and its location and the time spent in each room of the house, outdoors, and out of home by each occupant over one day. This survey provided a reliable data set about the features of New Zealand owner‐occupied houses and their occupants, the type an number of furniture items, appliances and tools in them and where/for how long each household member spent his/her daily time in the house. 4‐ Floor plan study: To get a better understanding of the size of rooms in NZ houses, a floor plan study of 287 houses was performed. Floor plans were redrawn in AutoCAD and the floor area of each room and the whole house were extracted for mapping with house size in SPSS. Results of the time‐use study indicate New Zealanders on average spend 15.94 hours/day at home indoor and house size does not affect this. On average 54.7% of this is spent in usual bedrooms, 29.9% in the usual living room, dining room and kitchen, and use of other rooms including bathrooms accounts for 15.4% of time at home indoors. Using a life cycle analysis approach, selecting to live in a house with 3 extra rooms, a single person, couple, couple with one child and couple with two children will use 66%, 66%, 75% and 66% more energy for housing over 100 years. By combining time‐use and energy use results, a sample person living in a house with no extra rooms for their whole life will have a housing energy of 1.59GJ/hour which increases to 2.68GJ/hour by living in a house with 3 extra rooms. Based on resources for construction, refurbishment and heating and the time occupants spend in each room over the life the house, for each hour of using a master bedroom New Zealanders use 0.9MJ, and this increases to 9.3MJ for an hour of using a study and 5.1MJ for a play room. This research suggests more public awareness is needed regarding the role of human behaviour in achieving a sustainable architecture and perhaps it is time for governments to control use of natural resources by restricting house sizes where applicable.

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