1,713 results for University of Otago, Doctoral

  • The claim of loss of self-control: some challenges of the genetic-based defence to criminal responsibility

    Bastani, Amir (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    In this thesis, I will focus on one important piece of genetic evidence, concerning the Monoamine Oxidas Acid A (MAOA) gene, unscientifically known as the ‘warrior’ gene. In 2002, a famous study by Caspi and his colleagues suggested that individuals who have one variation of MAOA, and were severely maltreated during childhood, have a greater predisposition to antisocial behaviour compared to other groups in the study. It was the first study to measure the effect of the combination of genetic and environmental factors (GxE) on the further development of antisocial behaviour. I will refer to this discovery as GxE evidence. A fundamental dispute, influenced by scientific advances such as the discovery of GxE, is the age-old philosophical schism between free will and determinism. It has been suggested that science will be able to indicate that agents’ actions are determined by their genes and the notion of free will is an illusion. That claim has alarming implications for the criminal law. The fundamental premise of criminal law is that people are responsible for the outcome of their conduct. That responsibility depends on the extent to which agents knowingly and voluntarily choose the outcome of their conduct. If science can indicate that human’s conduct, far from being knowingly and voluntarily chosen, is predetermined genetically, then considering any role for criminal responsibility must be controversial. A part of this thesis will consider the legal response to the free will/determinism debate. Setting aside the imperious challenges of science, and the free will/determinism debate, I will look at other scientific challenges which are relevant to the present categories of criminal responsibility and which can improve, but not dictate, the criminal law. Specifically, I will focus on the issue of loss of self-control. That issue has been chosen because scientific researchers have indicated that individuals’ ability to exercise their self-control is affected to some degree by GxE. There are other advances in science which trigger the issue of loss of self-control but I am looking at only GxE evidence. Loss of self-control can be considered as the basis for two defences. Firstly, loss of self-control can take the form of a claim of complete inability to control impulses. In some jurisdictions the total inability to control impulses is recognised as a full defence, called volitional insanity (V-insanity). In those jurisdictions, if an individual is unable to completely control his/her impulses, he/she is not considered criminally responsible. In stark contrast, neither New Zealand nor English law – the focus of this thesis – recognises V-insanity; they recognise cognitive insanity (C-insanity) only. C-insanity is only a defence where a person is unable to appreciate the nature – factual or moral – of his/her conduct. As a result of the non-recognition of V-insanity, if an individual is not able to control his/her impulses, and if he/she cannot establish any other defences, the person will be treated as fully criminally responsible. For the first time in New Zealand law, I will develop an argument in favour of the introduction of V-insanity as a defence. The second form of the claim of loss of self-control, which is relevant to GxE evidence, is the claim of significant impairment in controlling impulses. This is the basis for the defence of diminished responsibility (DR) as it is recognised under some common law jurisdictions such as English law. The difference between DR and V-insanity is that for V-insanity it is impossible for a person to control his/her impulses but in the case of DR it is not totally impossible for a person to control them. Instead, in the case of DR, it is seriously difficult for a person to control his/her impulses. Under English law DR, which is available only for murder charges, is a partial defence. It reduces, but does not totally exempt, a person’s criminal responsibility. However, DR is not accepted under New Zealand law and a person who has significant difficulties in controlling his/her impulses, is considered fully criminally responsible. In this thesis, building on the academic literature, I will argue that New Zealand should adopt the DR defence. Having argued that New Zealand should adopt the defence of V-insanity and DR, I will analyse GxE evidence as the basis for those defences. To date, there has been no such discussion in the scholarly discourse. It is not my aim to definitely determine whether GxE evidence as the basis for the two defences should be accepted or not. Rather, my goal is to highlight legal requirements for establishing those defences where GxE is concerned. The legal prerequisites I propose are not just applicable to the assessment of GxE as a basis for the aforementioned defences, but also to any form of genetic defence.

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  • A study of some New Zealand natural products.

    Jogia, Madhu Kant (1985)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xii, 348 leaves :col. ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Chemistry

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  • Taxonomies of Taiwanese Aboriginal Musical Instruments

    Cheng, Lancini Jen-hao (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This research aims to discover the indigenous taxonomy systems of Taiwanese aboriginal instruments. This is a cross-cultural investigation providing a panoramic perspective on the musical instruments of Taiwanese aborigines (Austronesians). The term ‘musical instrument’ is used in its broadest sense to refer to all sound-producing instruments in this research. There are many reasons for undertaking this research. For example, until now, few people have known what forms of aboriginal musical instruments have existed throughout the island of Taiwan, and there has been little scholarly discussion about their indigenous names and classifications. The original contribution of the research is its ethnographic fieldwork component, which results in new information concerning indigenous instruments and taxonomic schemes from the opinion of 48 cultural insiders across 17 different aboriginal groups in Taiwan. The researcher’s approach is based on participant observation - by recording the musical activity in either traditional or contemporary contexts, and by interviewing cultural insiders about their traditional music. Also, the researcher analyses the instrumental form, function and meaning of aboriginal instruments across synchronic and diachronic development. The findings in this dissertation provide a new understanding of many unknown musical instruments from different aboriginal groups (e.g. Bunun, Kavalan, Pazih-Kahabu, Puyuma, Rukai, Sakizaya, Siraya and Tsou). This investigation also makes original contributions to extend the instrument type and the numerical entry of the Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical instrument classification. Moreover, this dissertation provides a link between Taiwanese aboriginal instruments and other Austronesian musical instruments. In summary, the many factors that influence indigenous taxonomies of Taiwanese aboriginal instruments include linguistic factors (onomatopoeia, overlapped radicals, and the verbalising affix), how they are played, the materials used in their construction, their performance contexts, as well as players’ gender, social status and religion.

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  • The free child health care scheme : implications for New Zealand general practice

    Dovey, Susan May (2002)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xv, 260 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references.

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  • Haematology and inflammation in infections of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus)

    Cross, John Philip (1991)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xiii, 180, i, 39 leaves, [1] folded leaf :ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department : Microbiology

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  • Habitats and macroinvertebrate fauna of the reef-top of Rarotonga, Cook Islands : implications for fisheries and conservation management

    Drumm, Darrin Jared (2005)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xiii, 173, [6] leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Marine Science. "December 2004."

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  • Open population capture-recapture models and diabetes in Otago

    Cameron, Claire (2009)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xiv, 207 leaves :ill., ; 30 cm Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Mathematics and Statistics

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  • Care ethics and brain injury

    Butler, Mary (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    It is generally supposed that a supportive family can have an influence on outcomes for an adult with severe brain injury, but there is very little known about what effective families actually do. In this research the families of five such individuals were involved in an ethnographic project that lasted for one year. The literature review brought together insights from brain injury, care ethics, disability studies and anthropology. These insights were combined with a process of reflective equilibrium that was applied to the ethnographic material in order to determine the ethics of the carers. Ethics of care in this setting was conceived of as a positive practice ethic, rather than as a series of negative conundrums posed by the brain injury. The practice ethic shared by carers meant that they all conceived of the need created by brain injury in humanistic terms, rather than in terms of pathology. Carers demonstrated virtues appropriate to their practice as they helped the adult with brain injury to connect with aspects of ordinary life. The best outcomes for the adult with brain injury included being able to engage in productive activity and to make a place in the world. These outcomes could only be achieved with due regard for their safety and subsistence. The practice ethic of carers was demonstrated in the skills and concern that ensured a satisfactory outcome for the adult with brain injury. This research is a departure from recent research about families affected by brain injury, which has focused on the burden involved in care. An examination of what carers achieve suggests that burden may be associated with the development of caring practice. The transformative capacity of care, for both the carer and the adult with brain injury, is emphasized. However contextual factors, such as adequate compensation, are connected to the capacity of the carer to engage in good practice and these are explored also in this thesis. In particular, relevant aspects of the relationship between families and the Accident Compensation Corporation are explored.

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  • Understanding and Improving Stroke Recovery for Māori and Their Whānau

    Harwood, Matire Louise Ngarongoa (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis sought to understand ethnic disparities in stroke within Aotearoa, New Zealand, from the perspectives of Māori. Stroke burden is greatest for Māori, the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, who have higher rates and worse outcomes compared with non-Māori. Importantly for Māori with stroke, the disparity in outcomes (including dependence and quality of life) compared with New Zealand Europeans increases significantly in the 12 months after being discharged from hospital into the community. Reasons for this are not clear. The study’s aims were twofold—to provide a deeper understanding of the stroke experience for Māori with stroke and their Whānau; and to design interventions that could potentially improve stroke outcomes. A qualitative approach to the research was taken in order to gain an understanding of people’s experience, attitudes and beliefs. Constructivist grounded theory was utilized to ensure a wider focus on societal influences. The project also involved Māori as researcher and researched and sought to make a positive difference for Māori with stroke and their Whānau. These concepts fit within the Kaupapa Māori research framework which also guided the research. Five themes explaining the stroke experience were constructed from data collected from in-depth interviews with 18 Māori with stroke and nine people who identified themselves as Whānau caring for Māori with stroke. Personal context, optimal stroke care, Whānau wellbeing, a stand against discrimination and taking charge occur in isolation, or combine, to influence stroke recovery or Māori with stroke and their Whānau. The five themes were presented to three key stakeholder focus groups of Māori with stroke, Whānau of Māori with stroke, and stroke funders and providers. Two practical interventions were proposed by the groups: a DVD of role models and a person- and Whānau-centred assessment designed to engage the patient and their family in the process of recovery. This research suggests that inequity of indigenous health and rehabilitation outcomes in stroke requires a comprehensive and multi-faceted response. A stroke strategy that achieves the aspirations of Māori to take charge is required.

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  • Creating and sustaining an “effective” rural school: The critical triad – leadership, curriculum, and community

    Wright, Anne (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis examines the professional practices of rural school principals in the province of Otago, New Zealand, to describe what it is about their practices that creates and maintains effective rural schools. The underlying question for this research was, The leadership and management of effective, small, rural schools appears to pose unique problems and issues from that in larger rural and urban schools. What makes that difference? A mixed methods approach was taken, using a survey designed for the study and administered to 63 principals of rural schools in Otago. Observations of six purposively chosen principals representing a large rural school (with a role of 150 or above) and a small rural school (with a role of 60 or below) from each of the three areas of Otago: Coastal (East), South Otago, and Central Otago; and, interviews with the six principals who were observed. The survey was factor analysed and showed strong psychometric properties. It yielded background and demographic information regarding the sample, their perceptions regarding their ideals for their schools as compared to the actual situations in their schools, and their views on developing a local curriculum and the factors that made an effective rural school. The survey informed the following observation schedules and questions for the interviews, which were conducted with 6 principals chosen to represent a cross section of types of rural schools. Main findings from the study were that context mattered – small rural school leadership was shown to be different from that in large rural schools, and that for small rural schools, a local curriculum using the local community and environment for content was essential. The results are discussed in terms of the implications they have for the profession and the future training of rural educationalists, and how the results both relate to the literature, and extend the current knowledge base about rural schools.

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  • Communicative mobility and networked mediation in transnational lifeworlds: a case study of European expatriates in Australia

    Deffner, Florian (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Transnational lifeworlds of expatriates raise exciting questions on the use and meaning of media. Network communication, and its increased communicative connectivity, allows for a borderless communicative mobility which transforms experience and meaning by multiplying and diversifying content choices and ways of interpersonal communication. To capture the mediated transformations of expatriates’ lifeworlds, this dissertation introduces the term “networked mediation” as a descriptor for new forms of mediation emerging in the context of network communication. In the micro-perspective of the lifeworld, networked mediation comprises all forms of mediation—including their interrelation—that do not exclusively correspond to traditional ‘streamings’ of mediation, such as the strict patterns of consecutive and distinct consumptions of news in the mass media age. Therefore, networked mediation, as a multi-directional and multi-dimensional form of mediation, appears to constitute new ontological dimensions of subjective experience and meaning. The construction of more complex meaningfully lived-through mediated social realities and relations are investigated through a social-phenomenological approach illuminating the transnational communicative spaces of European expatriates in Melbourne. Results reveal new mobility cultures of communication characterized by network-based communicative internalization and communicative subjectivization. Consequently, in the case of expatriates’ transnational lifeworlds, even more complex forms of networked mediation occur as they display communicative orientations to 'dual' lifeworld attachments between home and host country. Seen from this angle, the exploration of networked mediation not only illustrates and clarifies transnational communicative spaces, but also sheds light on the complex dimensions and dynamics of contemporary cultures of mediation.

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  • The cultural transmission of cookery knowledge : from seventeenth century Britain to twentieth century New Zealand

    Inglis, Raelene (2007)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xv, 354 leaves :ill., map ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Anthropology.

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  • Dissolved organic matter in New Zealand natural waters

    Gonsior, Michael (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xi, 186 leaves :ill. (some col.), col. maps ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. "1st of April 2008". University of Otago department: Chemistry.

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  • Analysis of fungal inteins

    Bokor, Annika Anna Maria (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xxvi, 298 leaves :col. ill ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Biochemistry. "November 1, 2010"

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  • The impacts of harvesting and the sustainability of a New Zealand Littleneck Clam (Austrovenus stutchburyi) fishery in Papanui and Waitati inlets, New Zealand

    Irwin, Craig Robert (2004)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xxiii, 344 leaves :ill. (some col.), maps ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. "June 2004". University of Otago department: Marine Science.

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  • Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice of family planning among iTaukei women in Fiji and New Zealand

    Delaibatiki, Radilaite (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Introduction/Aims: Family planning has been recommended as one of the critical services needed to improve the health of women. Apart from the unavailability of services, high cost, logistical barriers and lack of awareness, indigenous Fijians or iTaukei are challenged by financial hardship and changing reproductive social norms. Therefore iTaukei women’s family planning behaviour was examined in light of these barriers. Specifically, the study aimed to assess family planning behaviour by investigating women’s knowledge, attitudes and practice of family planning in Fiji and New Zealand. Methods: A mixed method approach was used to investigate knowledge, attitudes and practice of family planning among iTaukei women. A descriptive survey was utilised to identify factors associated with knowledge, practice and unmet need for family planning while focus groups were used to gain a deeper understanding of the influences of family planning attitudes. Access barriers were investigated using both the descriptive survey and focus groups. Results: Overall, 352 iTaukei women (140 NZ participants, 212 Fiji participants) filled in a survey questionnaire. Fourteen focus groups were carried out (NZ 6, Fiji 8). The study found that tertiary educated women had higher odds of being aware of (OR 2.3, 95% CI: 1.3 – 6.2) and using family planning methods (OR 3.9, 95 % CI: 1.9-7.8), while living in New Zealand was associated with lower odds of having used family planning methods (OR 0.5, 95% CI: 0.2 – 0.9). There was no difference in the unmet need among women in both countries. About a quarter of the currently married women in both countries had an unmet need for family planning (Fiji 25%, NZ 26%). Significantly higher proportions of women in Fiji reported problems with not having a health facility nearby (Fiji 39%, NZ 22% P=0.002), concern there may not be a female provider (Fiji 51%, NZ 36%, P=0.010) and talking to a husband/partner about their health (Fiji 31%, NZ 16%, P=0.004). The focus group study found that fragmented services made accessing health services difficult. In Fiji there was a need for an improvement in the way providers treated patients as negative experiences with health providers were commonplace. In New Zealand, privacy and confidentiality concerns compelled women to seek out non-Pacific providers as Pacific providers were considered negligent in this aspect of service delivery. New social norms around sexuality and reproduction made traditional value and belief systems difficult to maintain. For example, cultural traditions and taboo made having family planning discussion in the home and with spouses difficult; adapting to new social norms meant compromising traditional Christian values; and economic responsibilities and financial hardships drove neoliberalist perspectives of fertility leading to favourable attitudes towards family planning. Conclusion Despite the greater availability of services and higher standards of living experienced in New Zealand compared with Fiji, there was no improvement in unmet need among New Zealand participants. Even though cost and geographical access was more problematic in Fiji, sexual sensitivities (taboo), privacy and confidentiality were serious concerns among women in both countries. Understanding the compromises iTaukei make between traditional belief systems and new reproductive and family planning social norms can help health professionals and policy makers better cater services to meet the family planning needs of iTaukei women in New Zealand and Fiji.

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  • Synthesis and characterisation of poly(acrylic acid) microspheres containing β-cyclodextrin

    Bibby, David C. (1999)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xviii, 160 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. "February 1999"

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  • NATO after the Cold War: Explaining the Durability of the Atlantic Alliance in a New Global Context

    Burton, Joe (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    NATO was established in 1949 at the beginning of the Cold War to counter the perceived threat of the Soviet Union. But the eventual demise of the superpower confrontation in the late 1980s did not mark the end of the Atlantic Alliance. To the surprise of many observers, NATO proved to be enormously durable in the face of serious external and internal challenges associated with the emergence of a new post-Cold War era. This PhD thesis examines the reasons for NATO’s durability in the new global context. Drawing on three major theoretical approaches for understanding alliances – realism, liberalism and social constructivism – the study examines the post-Cold War development of NATO and then relates this experience to the aforementioned paradigms. The thesis argues that, on balance, liberalism is the most effective and comprehensive conceptual framework for explaining NATO’s durability in the post-Cold War era. The framework more precisely focuses on the management of domestic politics and public opinion in NATO member states, and the alliance has found that its political values and commitment to democracy have formed a powerful foundation from which to confront new security challenges. The institutional characteristics of the alliance, such as its strong political leadership and consensus based decision making, have also galvanised its members, and NATO’s institutional assets, such as the integrated military command, have been invaluable in responding to conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. NATO, as a multinational alliance, has also been relatively well placed to respond to the demands of a globalised security context in which multilateral solutions to security challenges are arguably more important than they have ever been.

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  • The Role of Epigenetics in Amphibian Regeneration

    Taylor, Amy Janet (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Up until recently, epigenetic mechanisms for epimorphic regeneration have not been studied. Epigenetic mechanisms present a possible method for control over the regeneration process and an explanation as to why some animals possess regenerative abilities and others do not. This thesis provides evidence for a role for histone acetylation and DNA methylation in amphibian regeneration. Results from this thesis show that histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes and consequently histone hypoacetylation are needed for successful regeneration with X. laevis tadpoles, treated with HDAC inhibitors, failing to regenerate tails and limbs. HDACs are also shown to be necessary for A. mexicanum tail regeneration however HDAC inhibition only slows limb regeneration in A. mexicanum. HDAC inhibition is shown not to affect limb or tail development in X. laevis but to slow development in A. mexicanum. Direct measurement of HDAC activity in X. laevis is consistent with the results of HDAC inhibitor treatment, with increased HDAC activity being associated with regeneration success in X. laevis. Regeneration competent tadpoles show increased HDAC activity with amputation and regeneration incompetent refractory stage tadpoles show a decrease in HDAC activity with amputation. HDAC activity is possibly associated with the BMP and Notch signalling pathways as well as retinoic acid signalling. Global DNA methylation is also measured in X. laevis. Low levels of DNA methylation are shown to be associated with regeneration success following amputation, with regeneration competent tadpoles showing lower levels of methylation than refractory stage tadpoles. This is consistent with the illustrated variable regenerative response to methyltransferase inhibitor treatment in regeneration competent tadpoles treated after amputation. It is also consistent with the increased regenerative success seen when refractory stage tadpoles are treated with a methyltransferase inhibitor. The evidence presented in this thesis illustrates the importance of epigenetic mechanisms in vertebrate regeneration. This research may have important implications for medical research.

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  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder diagnosis and intervention: An investigation of professional practice in New Zealand

    Bagley, Kerryn (2013)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurodevelopmental and physical impairments associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. It is a brain-based disability which manifests in behavioural symptoms and cognitive deficits that adversely impact on the affected individual and their family. While FASD has been acknowledged as a disorder since the 1970s, it remains poorly understood in the New Zealand context, and does not attract much support from health and allied health services. Meanwhile, the normalization of alcohol in New Zealand culture affects the ways in which FASD is approached and perceived by medical specialists and lay people alike. This thesis investigates the ways in which professionals within health, allied health and social service systems in New Zealand encounter, approach and manage FASD and cases of suspected FASD. It examines the circumstances surrounding diagnosis of and intervention for FASD in New Zealand, and the factors that inform professional practice in these two fields. It questions how FASD fits within specific professional practice contexts, how social and cultural forces influence the actions of professionals, and what barriers may exist in FASD-related practice. It aims to provide a nuanced analysis of how FASD is currently handled, and suggests potential strategies for achieving more effective service provision for FASD. The research presented in this thesis is theoretically and methodologically grounded in applied medical anthropology, involving extensive participant- observation fieldwork in health and allied health training contexts in New Zealand and internationally. Over thirty in-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out with health, allied health and social service professionals in New Zealand. This data has been subjected to a thematic analysis that informs the scope of the research discussion, and provides the basis for my conclusions. Based on this data, my research suggests that professionals do indeed come into contact with cases of prenatal alcohol exposure in their work, and that many have developed innovative strategies for assisting individuals with confirmed or suspected FASD, but continue to face systemic and social barriers to achieving best practice in this area.

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