569 results for Scholarly text, 2013

  • Ranking Sound Insulation Regulations: Giving New Zealand an International Context

    Merwood, Yasmin (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Sufficient sound insulation is required between tenancies to provide protection from noise intrusion which otherwise can be a major source of suffering for building occupants. Sound insulation of residential buildings has a key role in providing building occupant satisfaction and health. In New Zealand (NZ), sound insulation regulations dictate the minimum airborne and impact sound insulation performance between abutting tenancies. These requirements are currently specified in Clause G6 of the NZ Building Code (published in 1992, amended 1995). In 2010, it was proposed that that the performance requirements be changed. These changes included increased sound insulation, different measurement methods, different sound insulation descriptors (unit) and including a wider scope of building elements, e.g. including services, between common spaces, doorways etc. Part of the justification for these changes was that they would enable NZ to catch up with ‘international practice’ (2010). However, there is limited information regarding the performance required by sound insulation regulations internationally, other than a small number of studies-based on European regulations. This research investigates how ‘international practice’ might be established. The research develops a methodology, which enables a comparison of the performance requirements of residential airborne sound insulation regulations. As a proof of concept, this research then pilot tests the methodology, focussing on testing how regulations from around the world would compare if applied in NZ. Six regulations were selected for the pilot test; The Building Code of Australian; the National Building Code of Canada; the New York City Building Code; the Republic of Ireland Technical Document E and the two versions of the NZ Building Code (1992, amended 1995 and the 2010 proposed changes). The sampled regulations encompass four descriptors and the use of two different organisational bodies from countries across three continents. The regulations were assessed for their airborne sound insulation performance requirements between abutting tenancies. These requirements were then compared to determine which required a greater or lesser sound insulation performance. Due to the range of descriptors and performance levels of the various regulations the comparison was not a straightforward mathematical one. Instead, computer simulation was used to convert the various performance requirements into the all the descriptors used by the regulations. This was done using construction-based tests. The comparison was based on the regulations being applied in New Zealand. This was carried out using ten different NZ-based construction-types; e.g. double timber stud and concrete pre-cast panel systems. The comparative regulation performance requirements for each of these constructions were ranked from highest to lowest (with 1st Rank being the highest performance required and the ranking number increasing as the performance requirement decreases). The transmission loss result from each of tests was then used to quantify the difference between the ranks found. It was found the Australian Building Code required the highest airborne sound insulation of any of the regulations for abutting tenancies (1st rank). This was more than double Ireland’s required performance. This was followed by the proposed changes to the NZ Building Code (2nd), then the current version of the NZ Building Code (3rd); the National Canadian Building Code and the New York codes were ranked 4th equal and finally Ireland ranked last (6th). The research found NZ (Proposed) requirements were not consistently higher than that already specified in NZ (Current). In some cases e.g. double timber stud construction, NZ (Current) actually requires a higher airborne sound insulation performance. The evidence in this research suggests that the performance requirements of NZ (Proposed) would need to be increased to improve on NZ (Current) across all constructions-types. However, it was the found the findings of the pilot test may be confined only to the elements tested. A full expansion of testing into the comparisons of field units may yield further interesting results and contrast the results found through the design units (laboratory-based descriptors).

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  • Project Management Internship in Post-Earthquake Christchurch: A review of experiences gained and lessons learned

    Helm, Benjamin (2013)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This report discusses the experiences gained and lessons learned during a project management internship in post-earthquake Christchurch as part of the construction industry and rebuild effort.

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  • Crustal Structure of Wanganui Basin: Implications for Back-Arc Basin Formation

    Tozer, Brook (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Onshore-offshore and onshore wide-angle reflection and refraction seismic data are analysed in order to constrain the crustal P-wave velocity structure within Wanganui Basin and the southern Hikurangi margin, western North Island, New Zealand. Two, two-dimensional, P-wave velocity models are constructed using reflection and refraction phase travel-times based on forty-four onshore-offshore receiver gathers, twelve onshore shot gathers and two marine multi-channel-seismic reflection profiles collected along two transects within Wanganui Basin. The profiles are orientated both sub-parallel and perpendicular to the strike of the Hikurangi margin. Within Wanganui Basin, a north-south increase in Moho depth is resolved sub-parallel to the strike of the Hikurangi margin from 25 km depth north of Mt Ruapehu to 36.5 km within offshore Wanganui Basin at the latitude of Foxton. This increase is punctuated by an abrupt step in Moho depth of 7±3 km over a lateral distance of < 30 km from 25 km to 32 km depth slightly south of Mt Ruapehu. Perpendicular to the strike of the Hikurangi margin, the Moho is resolved at a depth of 35.5 km near the southern edge of the basin. A comparison between the Moho interpreted on multi-channel-seismic-reflection stacks and wide-angle reflection models suggests that the wider-angle Moho represents the highest amplitude reflector in a band of reflectivity that represents the Moho on the vertical incidence reflection stack. In this case, the Moho may be an extra ~ 5 km thicker than that determined in the wide-angle models. Nonetheless, these models confirm the crust in Wanganui Basin is anomalously thick, yet may be thinner than the previously thought maximum thickness of > 42 km by up to 5 km based on wide-angle data. The Australian/Pacific plate interface is imaged as a relatively smooth surface at depths of 28.15 - 35.6 km between the latitudes of Paekakariki and Foxton with apparent dip to the north-north-east increasing from 2.3 to 9.5°. Perpendicular to the strike of the Hikurangi margin, this interface increases in depth from 16 - 33 km with an increase in dip of 5.4° beneath Featherston to 19° beneath central Wanganui Basin. P-wave velocities range between 5.8 - 6.5 kms-¹ in the upper ~18 km of the crust within Wanganui Basin. These are interpreted to represent mid and lower-crustal rocks that have been emplaced in the upper crust by exhumation during the Miocene. In the lower crust P-wave velocities are inferred as 6.5 - 6.85 kms-1 sub-parallel and 6.5 - 6.65 kms-¹ perpendicular to Hikurangi margin, suggesting a lower crustal P-wave anisotropy of up to ~ 3% This may reflect the preferential alignment of mineral fabrics in the direction of relative transpressive plate motion during the Neogene and/or structural anisotropy parallel to the strike of the Taranaki Fault Zone and Kapiti-Manawatu Fault System. The structure of the Pacific plate crust is resolved as two layers. The top layer is inferred as a low-velocity sediment sheet with a P-wave velocity of 5.00 - 5.20 kms-¹ and thickness of 1.5 - 3.5 km. The second layer is interpreted as 9.5 - 10 km thick oceanic crust with P-wave velocities between 6.7 and 7.2 kms-¹. This confirms that anomalously thick (up to 13.5 km) Hikurangi Plateau crust has subducted at least as far east as the Tararua Ranges. Subducted sediment appears to be pooling beneath the western side of North Island between Featherston and Kapiti Island, reaching a maximum thickness of 3.5 km. Rock uplift driven by the relative buoyancy of this material is capable of explaining the average elevation of the Tararua Ranges and coupled with previous studies from the Raukumara Basin in the north, suggest accretion of subducted sediment to the overlying plate may be characteristic of the entire Hikurangi margin.

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  • Banking crises, sudden stops, and the effectiveness of short-term lending

    Chang, Chia-Ying (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper sheds light on the linkages between banking crises and sudden stops and discusses the effectiveness of short-run lending in their prevention. It develops an overlapping generations framework and incorporates the possibilities of bank runs and moral hazard of financial intermediaries. Consequently, I find that the strategy to overcome liquidity problems could worsen banks’ positions and cause bank runs and sudden stops. A small liquidity shock may still lead to a banking crisis through the depositors’ expectation. A large shock would require short-run lending to prevent an immediate bank run, but the repayment obligation may worsen moral hazard problems.

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  • SpEx: A Tool for Visualising and Navigating Speech Audio

    Abdulhamid, Fahmi (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Audio is a ubiquitous form of information that is usually treated as a single, unbreakable, piece of content. Thus, audio interfaces remain simple, usually consisting of play, pause, forward, and rewind controls. Spoken audio can contain useful information across multiple topics and finding the information desired is usually time consuming. Most audio players simply do not reveal the content of the audio. By using the speech transcript and acoustic qualities of the audio, I have developed a tool, SpEx, which enabled search and navigation within spoken audio. SpEx displayed audio as discrete segments and revealed the topic content of each segment using mature Information Visualisation techniques. Audio segments were produced based on the acoustic and sentence properties of speech to identify topically and aurally distinct regions. A user study found that SpEx allowed users to find information in spoken audio quickly and reliably. By making spoken audio more accessible, people can gain access to a wider range of information.

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  • Abstract Objects in the Causal Order

    Ngai, Justin (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Abstract entities have long been viewed as entities that lack causal powers; that is, they cannot be constitutive of causes or effects. This thesis aims to reject this claim and argue that abstract objects are indeed part of the causal order. I will call this thesis ‘AOCO’ for short. In the first chapter I argue that other philosophers have committed themselves to the claim that some abstract objects have been caused to come into existence. In the second chapter, I argue that the best solution to Benacerraf’s problem is to concede that abstract objects have a causal influence on what we believe. In the third chapter I examine and evaluate objections to AOCO.

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  • Reducing organ trafficking: New Zealand's international and domestic responsibilities

    Lai, Shang-Chin (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Organ trafficking is a transnational issue that calls for a response from the international medical community. Despite consistent condemnation, organ trafficking persists due to the worldwide shortage of organs for transplantation. This paper discusses the human rights abuses perpetuated by organ trafficking and suggests some approaches to reducing organ trafficking and transplant tourism. The paper concludes that combating organ trafficking requires a cohesive response from the international community of states, comprising of mutually reinforcing legal reform at international and domestic levels. In particular, states should seek to lighten the burden on the worldwide shortage of organs by increasing local supply. This paper considers presumed consent to be the most effective system of organ procurement. As such the paper suggests a framework for implementing presumed consent in New Zealand, in order to increase organ donation rates.

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  • Protest at sea: An analysis of the Crown Minerals Amendment Act 2013

    McMenamin, Matthew (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper examines the criminal offences introduced under the Crown Minerals Amendment Act 2013 in response to direct action protest at sea. These offences have proved controversial as they restrict fundamental protest rights and purport to apply in respect of foreign vessels beyond New Zealand’s territory. This paper advances two central propositions in relation to these offences. First, the prescription and enforcement of the offences is permitted under the jurisdiction accorded to New Zealand at international law. Second, the limitations placed upon protest rights are justified in accordance with s 5 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

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  • Regional Effects of Natural Disasters in China

    Vu, Tam Bang; Noy, Ilan (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    We examine the effects of natural disasters on income and investment in China. Using detailed macroeconomic province-level data and their history of disaster exposure over the past two decades, and after accounting for two-way causality using a three-stage least-squares estimation procedure, we describe the relationship between disaster mortality and morbidity, disasters’ economic damages, government investment and regional economic activity and infrastructure development. The Chinese government’s aggressive investment in post-disaster reconstruction is discussed, and the implications of this investment for post-disaster private sector economic activity are analyzed empirically. We further investigate the differential effects of natural disasters on economic activity in the different provinces.

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  • Tax Policy with Uncertain Future Costs: Some Simple Models

    Ball, Christopher; Creedy, John (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper considers the extent to which the standard argument, that the disproportionate excess burden of taxation suggests the use of tax-smoothing in the face of future cost increases, is modified by uncertainty regarding the future. The role of uncertainty and risk aversion are examined using several highly simplified models involving a possible future contingency requiring an increase in tax-financed expenditure.

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  • An Analysis of Benefit Flows in New Zealand using a Social Accounting Framework

    Aziz, Omar; Carroll, Nick; Creedy, John (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper presents a social accounting model to examine the entrants, exits and transitions of individuals among a wide range of benefit categories in New Zealand. Transition rates and flows are estimated separately for periods before the global financial crisis (GFC) and periods following the crisis. The data were obtained from the Benefit Dynamics Dataset maintained by the Ministry of Social Development. The model is used to examine, using simulations, the implications for the time profile of changes in the stock of benefit recipients under a range of counterfactual situations. It is suggested that the model can provide a useful tool for policy analysis.

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  • Where is the money? Post-disaster foreign aid flows

    Becerra, Oscar; Cavallo, Eduardo; Noy, Ilan (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    We describe the flows of aid after large catastrophic natural disasters by using the extensive record of bilateral aid flows, by aid sector, available through the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee. For each large donor, we identify the extent of cross-sector re-allocation that is occurring in the aftermath of large disasters whereby humanitarian aid increases but other types of aid may decrease. Our evidence suggests that the expectation of large surges in post disaster aid flows is not warranted given the past diversity of experience of global foreign aid by donor and by event. We find no evidence, however, that donors reallocate aid between recipient countries (cross-recipient reallocation). These observations suggest that countries which are predicted to face increasing losses from natural disasters in the coming decades (and almost all are) should be devoting significant resources for prevention, insurance, and mitigation.

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  • OwnKit: Ownership Inference for Java

    Dymnikov, Constantine (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Object ownership allows us to statically control run-time aliasing in order to provide a strong notion of object encapsulation. Unfortunately in order to use ownership, code must first be annotated with extra type information. This imposes a heavy burden on the programmer, and has contributed to the slow adoption of ownership. Ownership inference is the process of reconstructing ownership type information based on the existing ownership patterns in code. This thesis presents OwnKit—an automatic ownership inference tool for Java. OwnKit conducts inference in a modular way: by only considering a single class at the time. The modularity makes our algorithm highly scalable in both time and memory usage.

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  • Corporate Taxation and Productivity Catch-Up: Evidence from European firms

    Gemmell, Norman; Kneller, Richard; McGowan, Danny; Sanz, Ismael; Sanz-Sanz, José F. (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Firms that lie far behind the technological frontier have the most to gain from imitating the technology or management practices of others. That some firms converge relatively slowly to the productivity frontier suggests the existence of factors that cause them to underinvest in their productivity. In this paper we explore how far higher rates of corporate taxation affect firm productivity convergence by reducing the after tax returns to productivity enhancing investments for small firms. Using data for 11 European countries we find evidence for such an effect; productivity growth in small firms is slower the higher are corporate tax rates. Our results are robust to the use of instrumental variable and panel data techniques with quantitatively similar effects found from a natural experiment following the German tax reforms in 2001.

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  • Electronic records management at the coal face: Testing a behaviour search model for EDRMS

    Mackay, Heather (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The main objective of this proposed research is to test the reliability and validity of the information search model presented by Joseph, Debowski & Goldschmidt (2013a) which relates to searching in EDRMS. In order to do this, the search behaviour of employees using the EDRMS eDOCS Hummingbird in a New Zealand local authority will be compared with the model. Another research objective is to gain information about current search behaviour in relationship to the design of the new EDRMS system Objective which will soon be installed in the test organisation. As the literature review shows, introducing an EDRMS to a workplace is difficult, requiring a major change to the way that employees have managed their information, (Maguire, 2005). The last objective is to gain insights from the search behaviour in regards to training for the new system.

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  • Towards Justice for Victims: A New Role for Victim Impact Statements in Sexual Violence Cases

    McGovern, Danica Caitlyn Yvette (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This dissertation argues that the current approach to victim impact statements in New Zealand serves victims poorly. The primary purpose of victim impact statements is to provide information about harm, in order to assist the sentencing judge to assess the seriousness of the offending. This limits the extent to which victim impact statements can meet victims’ needs and protect their interests. This dissertation proposes a new role for victim impact statements (with a focus on their use in sexual violence cases). It argues that the purpose of victim impact statements should be to meet victims’ needs for recognition, acknowledgement and assistance with recovery, and to protect victims’ interests in reparation and prevention of further harm from the offender and from the sentence imposed on the offender. Meeting these needs and protecting these interests is necessary to provide justice for victims. Finally, this dissertation argues that victim impact statements should not be used to assess the seriousness of the offending.

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  • Kinser Inequalities and Related Matroids

    Cameron, Amanda (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Kinser developed a hierarchy of inequalities dealing with the dimensions of certain spaces constructed from a given quantity of subspaces. These inequalities can be applied to the rank function of a matroid, a geometric object concerned with dependencies of subsets of a ground set. A matroid which is representable by a matrix with entries from some finite field must satisfy each of the Kinser inequalities. We provide results on the matroids which satisfy each inequality and the structure of the hierarchy of such matroids.

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  • Fit for Purpose? An Examination of the Jurisdiction of the Health and Disability Commissioner in New Zealand

    Holloway, Adam Lothian (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper examines the role of the Health and Disability Commissioner. It does so by first describing the Commissioner's origins and place in the overall regulatory landscape for doctors in New Zealand. Different frameworks are then described within which the Commissioner's purpose, practice and outcomes can be assessed. Applying these frameworks, an assessment is made of the Commissioner's jurisdiction. Finally, informed by the foregoing assessment, this paper examines the regulatory landscape from a broader perspective, making tentative proposals for reforms.

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  • Gender ratios in library management (‘directorship’) roles in New Zealand public and tertiary libraries

    Shute, Gareth (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research problem: This study looked at the percentage of female managers in charge of library systems within New Zealand between 1980 and 2013 to see if their gender balance matched the wider library workforce (which has upwards of 80% female staff). Methodology: Directories of public libraries were examined and the gender of each library manager was noted. Results: The overall figure for library managers was found to be around 80%, with a slight improvement over the period examined. However, when public libraries were divided by size, the results for the 1980s showed that large libraries had fewer female managers than the overall library workforce, while small libraries had a larger percentage. This difference was shown to decrease over the period studied, until both large and small libraries had around 80% female staff. A similar result was shown in preliminary data sourced from New South Wales (Australia), which suggested that this trend also occurs overseas. The New Zealand data also considered tertiary institutions. At the beginning of the study, only one out of six university library systems was managed by a woman, while in the most recent year seven out of ten managers were female. In contrast, there was found to be a high percentage of female managers in charge of polytechs over this same time. Implications: These results suggest that a gender bias existed within some sectors of librarianship (within large public libraries and university libraries) at the beginning of the study period, but that this bias has largely disappeared in recent years.

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  • Treatment of Developmental Reading Disorders: A Visual Attention Span Deficit Approach

    Jones, Ben (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A current theory of the cognitive underpinnings of developmental reading disorders supposes that two impairments contribute to the overall profile of disordered reading: one of phonological awareness and one of visual attention span. The severity of each impairment is different for each child. By identifying children that display a severe degree of one impairment, but a limited degree of the other, each impairment can be investigated. The current study identified one participant with a stronger phonological impairment, and one with a stronger impairment of visual attention span. They completed two training programs: one program tailored to improve phonology, and one tailored to improve visual span. Both treatments improved reading performance in both participants. It was expected that the treatment targeting each participant‟s particular cognitive impairment would prove more effective for that participant. However, both treatments were found to show similar levels of improvement with both participants.

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