550 results for Scholarly text, 2015

  • Modernizing Childbirth in Colonial Bengal: A History of Institutionalization and Professionalization of Midwifery, c.1860-1947

    Guha, Ambalika (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In colonial India, medicalization of childbirth has been historically perceived as an attempt to ‘sanitise’ the zenana (secluded quarters of a respectable household inhabited by women) as the chief site of birthing practices and to replace the dhais (traditional birth attendants ) with trained midwives and qualified female doctors. This thesis has taken a broader view of the subject but in doing so, focusses on Bengal as the geographical area of study. It has argued that medicalization of childbirth in Bengal was preceded by the reconstitution of midwifery as an academic subject and a medical discipline at the Calcutta Medical College. The consequence was the gradual ascendancy of professionalized obstetrics that prioritised research, surgical intervention and ‘surveillance’ over women’s bodies. The thesis also shows how the medicalization of childbirth was supported by the reformist and nationalist discourses of the middle-class Bengalis in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The thesis begins from the 1860s when the earliest scientific essays on childbirth and pregnancy began to appear in Bengali women’s magazines such as Bamabodhini Patrika. It ends in the 1940s, when nationalism profoundly influenced the professionalization of obstetrics - midwifery being perceived as the keystone in a nation’s progress. Bengal being the earliest seat of British power in India it was also the first to experience contact with the western civilization, culture and thought. It also had the most elaborate medical establishment along western medical lines since the foundation of the Calcutta Medical College in 1835. It is argued in the extant literature that unlike the West where professionalized obstetrics was characterised as essentially a male domain, the evolving professional domain of obstetrics in Bengal was dominated by female doctors alone. Questioning that argument, the thesis demonstrates that the domain of obstetrics in Bengal was since the 1880s shared by both female and male doctors, although the role of the latter was more pedagogic and ideological than being directly interventionist. Together they contributed to the evolution of a new medical discourse on childbirth in colonial Bengal. The thesis shows how the late nineteenth century initiatives to reform birthing practices were essentially a modernist response of the western educated colonized middle class to the colonial critique of Indian socio-cultural codes that also included an explicit reference to the ‘low’ status of Bengali women. Reforming midwifery constituted one of the ways of modernizing the middle class women as mothers. In the twentieth century, the argument for medicalization was further driven by nationalist recognition of family and health as important elements of the nation building process. It also drew sustenance from international movements, such as the global eugenic discourse on the centrality of ‘racial regeneration’ in national development, and the maternal and infant welfare movement in England and elsewhere in the inter-war years. The thesis provides a historical analysis of how institutionalization of midwifery was shaped by the debates on women’s question, nationalism and colonial public health policies, all intersecting with each other in Bengal in the inter-war years. The thesis has drawn upon a number of Bengali women’s magazines, popular health magazines, and professional medical journals in English and Bengali that represent both nationalist and official viewpoints on the medicalization of childbirth and maternal and infant health. It has also used annual reports of the medical institutions to chart the history of institutionalization of midwifery and draws upon archival sources - the medical and educational proceedings in particular - in the West Bengal State Archives and the National Archives of India.

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  • Shifting Downtown

    Dewhirst, Winston (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Tendency: Haphazard development consumes the landscape stripping it of character and disrupting natural processes. Development of this type is prevalent in small growing rural towns featuring foreign urban designs transposed over the land which create a conflict between permanent urban infrastructure and the transient landscape. Natural processes have become ‘natural hazards’, and the landscape has become ‘green spaces’ which are completely indifferent to the original landscape character. The Thesis looks at the possibility of settlement patterns which retrofit the natural systems into an urban framework. This forms a symbiotic relationship between movement patterns of natural processes and the urban development patterns, aiming to keep the original character of the landscape as the urban centres identity and give space for natural systems to function. The town of Paraparaumu is used as a case study.

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  • The Rights We Won At Runnymede: An Argument for the Repeal of Magna Carta

    Heesterman, Katja (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Much has been written about Magna Carta, particularly given its recent 800th birthday. Yet few are prepared to speak against this ancient document for fear that the rule of law, liberty, and even democracy might crumble if Magna Carta no longer stands. This paper argues that Magna Carta should be repealed. First, by studying both Magna Carta’s history and the relevant New Zealand case law, this paper establishes that Magna Carta no longer has any discernible practical use. Though it once represented rights against the monarch, it is now out of date, predominantly misused and is therefore obsolete. Building upon this conclusion the paper argues that little of what Magna Carta supposedly stands for can in fact be justified by legitimate statutory interpretation approaches. Even a generous, purposive approach is not enough to transform Magna Carta from a feudal document signed to end a civil war into a sure guarantee of rights and principles in modern New Zealand. Furthermore, Magna Carta does not live up to the rule of law it supposedly epitomises. It is an unnecessary, overly detailed and inaccessible piece of legislation. Finally, it is argued that New Zealand’s constitutional framework would be better off without Magna Carta. New Zealand’s ability to provide effective rights protection and adhere to the rule of law does not depend on the charter signed at Runnymede. Excessive reverence for the past robs New Zealanders of a constitutional framework that suits our unique nation. On this basis, the paper concludes that Magna Carta should be repealed.

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  • Social Labs in Community Libraries

    Lindop, Hamish (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research problem: Governments are looking for ways to empower communities to create desired change for themselves. Social Labs empower diverse groups to tackle complex social challenges effectively. Community libraries, as a central social space in the community, have the power to bridge gaps between people, and build social capital. The study explored how Social Labs might be effectively designed to operate in community libraries, in order to empower the communities that they serve. Methodology: Four different qualitative methodologies were employed: “The Art of Social Labs” online course was attended to gather data on Social Labs principles and practice, Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Labs practitioners and experts, a case study was conducted on Tamaki Mental Health and Wellbeing Lab, and the Design for Social Innovation Symposium was attended. Results: Two paths for community libraries wishing to implement Social Labs emerged: gradual ground-up development, and partnering with existing Lab teams. A number of useful approaches and considerations for Social Labs design for community libraries were also captured. Implications: Community Libraries wishing to empower their communities to tackle complex social challenges will find this a useful guide to principles and design considerations of Social Labs in community libraries. Other useful design tools and approaches to community empowerment are also discussed. Researchers and practitioners from other disciplines may also find the study useful, considering the current derth of literature on Social Labs.

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  • Scavenging amphipods of the Tonga Trench: an analysis of community assemblage and population structure

    Wilson, James Peter Ashley (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The hadal zone is the common name for the deepest section of the ocean (6,000-11,000 m depth). It encompasses 45 % of the ocean’s depth range, and is mostly represented by oceanic trenches. Trench habitats lack sufficient sampling and the communities within are not well understood. Often, samples are derived from a single depth and thus the population dynamics of trench communities have not been analysed comprehensively. Scavenging amphipods are abundant and diverse taxa in the trench environment, and have been found in every trench sampled to date. They rapidly intercept and consume carrion falls at the deepest trench depths, and act as key prey items to predators in the shallower depths of the hadal zone. There appears to be a relationship of increasing abundance and decreasing diversity of scavenging amphipods with depth. However in the Tonga Trench, sampling of hadal amphipods has been limited, and these patterns remain unclear. The QUELLE (Quest for the Limit of Life) project in 2013 was led by The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). As part of this project, the YOK 13-10 voyage examined scavenging amphipods in the Tonga Trench. The voyage used baited traps to sample depths of ˜6,250 m and ˜10,800 m from October 6 – October 21 in 2013. The main objectives of the present study were to: identify scavenging amphipod assemblages within the Tonga Trench and compare them to other trenches of the South Pacific; analyse the population structure of Hirondellea dubia between depths in the Tonga Trench; and identify a suitable total length proxy for H. dubia. Six species of amphipods were identified from depths of ˜6,250 m and ˜10,800 m in the Tonga Trench. At ˜6,250 m Alicella gigantea, Eurythenes gryllus, H. dubia, Bathycallisoma schellenbergi, an alicellid species, and a gammarid species were recovered. In contrast, H. dubia was the only species recovered from ˜10,800 m. The abundance of amphipods was higher at the ˜10,800 m site while the diversity was much lower. The assemblage of scavenging amphipods in the Tonga Trench was similar to those from past sampling efforts in the same trench. There were also similarities to the assemblages in the adjacent Kermadec Trench, and together these observations support the classification of these two trenches as a single biogeographic province. The assemblages in the Peru-Chile Trench in the South East Pacific were more dissimilar sharing only a few species. The present study provides new Tonga Trench records of the vertical ranges of A. gigantea, E. gryllus, and H. dubia. It also extends the maximum known depth of H. dubia to 10,807 m. This thesis expanded our current knowledge of A. gigantea, by reporting the first instance of this large amphipod in the Tonga Trench, and the second known instance of the species at hadal depths. An analysis of Hirondellea dubia population structure revealed ontogenetic vertical structuring in the Tonga Trench. Juveniles dominated the composition in the shallow end of the H. dubia vertical range, while very few juveniles were found at the deepest site. Juveniles were substantially smaller at ˜6,250 m compared to ˜10,800 m, and this may suggest that juveniles migrate down the trench slope with increasing age. The most likely mechanism for distributing juveniles to the shallower depths is the ascending migration of brooding females. However, this is still not certain as no brooding females were captured. The shallower depth provides a higher quality of food source and the reduced hydrostatic pressure allows for a faster metabolic rate. Thus, this distribution is likely driven by the distribution of food sources throughout the trench in combination with hydrostatic pressure. The dimensions of several established proxies for total length were evaluated for H. dubia. Pereonite 2-7 had the strongest correlation to total length, however it was highly distorted by dorsal curvature. Both the pereonite 2-7 and the pleosome were considered inaccurate due to sexual dimorphism making them inappropriate as proxies. Pereonite 1 was proportionately larger in juvenile lifestages. However, overall pereonite 1 was considered the strongest candidate for a proxy, this is because it was the least influenced by dorsal curvature and was a conspicuous segment that was easy to measure.

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  • User adaptations to system implementation in a mining company in Laos - A case study of organisational change

    Singthilath, Aliyakone (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The purpose of this case study was to assess post–project implementation acceptance by users of new IS/IT systems in a mining company in Laos. The report investigated how the new system changed organisational working cultures and what avoidance or acceptance factors appeared. Also, it looked at how the new implemented systems contributed to the changes in business process and working procedures within Lane Xang Mineral Limited Company (LXML), which is a Lao subsidiary of a mining company from Australia. The change implementation was a strategic business integration of MMG, a Chinese-owned global mining company, headquartered in Melbourne that operated several mining subsidiaries in Australia, Africa, Latin America, and in Laos. In 2013, LXML went through a big change implementation in terms of IS/IT systems consisting of the upgraded computing facilities, I.T. services outsourcing, communication systems, and the introduction of the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Those changes inevitably brought about change in the company’s business processes and working procedures. As a result, it shifted LXML’s way of working from the conventional paper-based system to a more systematic and electronic approach. Following the change, the organisation as well as its staff were faced with cultural issues and mismatch business processes. To gain an understanding of the factors that impacted on the IS/IT implementation within Lane Xang Mineral Limited, this paper applied two analytical frameworks to the study of user acceptance and organisational cultural differences. Data gathering was conducted by an online survey and semi-structure online interviews with staff at different levels from within the organisation. The findings were then divided into enablers and barriers to user’s adaptation to the new systems implementation on individual and organisational level. The findings were also used to compare deductively with the analytical frameworks to verify their influencing categories. This paper is organised in three main sections, the first section introduces the case background and description of the issues from the case study. The second section is a justification of the significance of issues identified, and of the selected conceptual frames that were applied in the study. The third section is the analysis section, which explains data collection methodologies and the analytical details. Findings on the study will also be found within this section. At the end of the paper, the study is concluded by giving recommendations as a guide to I.T. Managers at the MMG headquarters in Australia and the LXML office in Laos, on transnational I.T. implementation within MMG. The recommendations could be taken as a guide for any other organisation (not only limited to the mining industry) to explore in order to plan for an effective I.T. implementation within their firms in the future.

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  • Playing the Game and Pulling the Fingers: Working for and against the modern University

    Guthrie, O.D. (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Todays’ universities are constantly evolving, and yet they are deeply traditional institutions that bring together often contradictory agendas, with multiple roles and expectations for those working within. I look towards the academics within these universities in order to get a better understanding of what happens when the personal meets the institutional. By reflecting on my time as a student, and talking with thirteen New Zealand academics and post-graduates who in various ways challenge dominant ideas around academia, I aim to broaden and disrupt the academic imagination. Rather than think of this project as an academic study on academia, I like to think of it as me, a student, re-telling the stories of academics; seeking their wisdom, tactics and gaining inspiration from their ability to ‘do’ academia their way, even in today’s tight confines.

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  • Investigating the modulation of methylphenidate’s effects on impulsivity by fluoxetine

    Chittenden, Rosemary (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The co-prescribing of methylphenidate (MPH) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for patients presenting co-morbidly with both attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression or anxiety is in some cases recommended. Little research has been conducted on the specific cognitive and behavioural outcomes of this. Studies with rats have shown that SSRI’s potentiate MPH-induced dopamine release in the pre-frontal cortex, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens, as well as enhancing MPH-induced hyper-locomotion (Borycz, Zapata, Quiroz, Volkow, & Ferré, 2008; Weikop, Yoshitake, & Kehr, 2007b). Impulsivity is a behavioural construct with dissociable sub-types, of which one, ‘action restraint’, has been consistently shown to be associated with increased dopamine activity in the mesolimbic system, including the nucleus accumbens. It was hypothesised that rats would make more ‘no-go’ errors in a Go/No-Go task, indicative of an increase in ‘action restraint’ type impulsivity, when co-administered fluoxetine (FLX) and MPH compared to either drug administered alone. Although this was not shown in the current study, tentative evidence was found to suggest that the combination of these drugs may negatively impact on attention, based on a decrease in ‘go’ accuracy. A second subtype of impulsivity, “action cancellation”, was tested using a new variant of the Stop-Signal Reaction Time (SSRT) task that we have developed for rats. Studies show that this subtype of impulsivity seems to be unaffected by changes in dopamine activity, but is improved by increases in norepinephrine. In the Weikop study mentioned above, the SSRI citalopram enhanced not only MPH-induced dopamine release, but also norepinephrine release in the nucleus accumbens. Thus it was hypothesised that FLX may potentiate MPH’s impulsivity-reducing effects as measured by stopping latency in the SSRT. We were not able to show this in the current study, however the demonstration that lower doses of MPH reduced stopping latency, consistent with previous versions of the SSRT, validated the new version developed for the current study. A final experiment revealed a rapid, short-term increase in locomotor activity when rats were co-administered FLX and MPH, an effect not present when either drug was administered singly. This synergistic effect replicates previous findings, and indicates a potentiation of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, as was found in previous studies. Although FLX was not found to moderate MPH’s effects on impulsivity in the current study, synergistic effects of the two drugs were effects were found on motor activity and potentially on attention also. This is an indication of the value of further research into specific behavioural and cognitive process that may be affected by co-administration of MPH and an SSRI.

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  • Characterization of Groundwater with Complementary Age Tracers

    Beyer, Monique (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Groundwater age or residence time is the time water has resided in the subsurface since recharge. Depending on the application, this definition may or may not include travel through the unsaturated zone. The determination of groundwater age can aid understanding and characterization of groundwater resources, because it can provide information on e.g. groundwater mixing and flow, and volumes of groundwater and recharge. Groundwater age can be inferred from environmental tracers, such as SF₆ and tritium, that have a known input to groundwater and/or undergo known alteration processes in groundwater. The currently used age tracers face limitations regarding their application range and reliability. For example, some age tracers have local sources that can lead to contamination of groundwater. This contamination can result in misleading estimates of age. Other tracers have ambiguous inputs to groundwater, which can result in ambiguous age estimations. To reduce these limitations, it is now recognized that multiple tracers should be applied complementarily. There is also a need for new groundwater age tracers and/or new groundwater dating techniques to supplement the existing ones. Cost-effective and easily applicable tracers/techniques are preferred, since most established groundwater dating techniques are very costly and/or complex. Commonly measured hydrochemistry parameters , such as the concentrations of major ions and pH, have been suggested as cost-effective and easily determinable potential age tracers. To date, the use of commonly measured hydrochemistry parameters as independent age tracer has only been demonstrated for water recharged weeks to months ago relying on seasonal changes. Other studies applied commonly measured hydrochemistry complementarily to established age tracers to better constrain groundwater age and/or better understand and predict anthropogenic effects on groundwater quality. Further study is needed to assess the extent to which commonly measured hydrochemistry can be used to reduce uncertainty in tracer-inferred age as well as the extent to which commonly measured hydrochemistry can be used to extrapolate tracer-inferred age. In addition to tracer specific limitations, quantification of uncertainty and ambiguity is not standard in age modelling. Although a few studies have attempted to quantify uncertainty in age modelling with the aid of probabilistic approaches, their methods are often relatively complex and not transferrable to the many cases with little available data. Uncertainties in the tracer’s recharge estimate and identification of appropriate model components, such as the objective function, have not been considered. Studies in other areas of hydrological modelling, where probabilistic approaches are more commonly used, have highlighted the need for careful identification of model components.

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  • Novel biomarkers for diabetic patients at risk of developing secondary complications.

    Orban, Thomas (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Diabetes is a chronic, incurable disease characterized by chronic hyperglycemia. Patients who control their diabetes poorly are at risk of developing long-term complications, such as cardiovascular diseases, renal failure and retina damage. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), formed by the reaction of glucose with hemoglobin, is considered the gold standard for the monitoring of glycemic control, but it does not discriminate between the different types of secondary complications associated with diabetes. Diabetes and its complications are linked to oxidative stress and the resulting lipid peroxidation produce reactive aldehydes including acrolein. Acrolein forms adducts with nucleophilic residues of proteins, which can be used as biomarkers of oxidative stress. It is hypothesized in the present study that specific adducts of acrolein with hemoglobin could be used as reliable biomarkers for secondary complications linked with diabetes. In this context, reactions of acrolein with the two nucleophilic amino acids cysteine and lysine have been studied. The formation of adducts was confirmed for both of these amino acids, and lead to the discovery of the novel compound FTT-cysteine. Studies on hemoglobin itself were conducted in order to understand how acrolein influences the structure and function of this protein and where the preferential sites of modification were located. It was concluded that acrolein does not significantly alter the structure of hemoglobin and actually tends to stabilize it due to the formation of internal cross-links. MS studies revealed that both the single addition of acrolein and the formation of the aromatic compound MP-lysine, arising from reaction with two molecules of acrolein, occur in hemoglobin samples. ELISA tests were developed that could successfully determine the presence of naturally forming hemoglobinacrolein adducts in vivo. X-ray crystallography could show the presence of extra electron density in the vicinity of Cys 93 on the β subunit. A proteomics search determined the sites of preferential reaction on hemoglobin, one of which is Cys 93. These results paved the way for the design of two novel synthetic hexapeptides, Ser-Ala-Gln-Val-Lys-Gly and Leu-His-Cys-Asp-Lys-Leu,whose reactivity towards acrolein was then studied. Both peptides were successfully modified by reaction with acrolein: MS studies revealed the formation of MP-lysine for Ser-Ala-Gln-Val-Lys-Gly and of a single cysteine Michael adduct for Leu-His-Cys-Asp-Lys-Leu. Future work will include the synthesis of 16-residue peptide chains as determined by the results from the proteomics search, against which antibodies will be raised. The antibodies will be used to develop highly specific ELISA assays that will hopefully correlate with secondary complications of diabetes. The outcome of this research could lead to the development of a convenient product that could be used to evaluate the risks that diabetic patients have of developing specific secondary complications.

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  • Pandora's box? An exploration of s 81 of the Land Transfer Act 1952 and its effect on the indefeasibility of title

    Roberts, Scarlet Rhiannon (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Section 81 of the Land Transfer Act 1952 has a tumultuous past. It has faced various criticisms surrounding its potential for undermining indefeasibility of title, a key concept under our Torrens system of transfer. This paper addresses some of these criticisms, positing first that s 81 does in fact grant the District Land Registrar a wide discretion to correct or cancel titles which have been gained fraudulently or wrongfully, and secondly that this discretion should be exercised if an appropriate case surfaces. Such an exercise is supported by the approach taken in other Torrens jurisdictions and can be regulated through the adoption of a number of simple guidelines, to be considered during any exercise of discretion under s 81. This will reduce the risk of any uncertainty arising from a wide interpretation of s 81 and ensure that the overall justice of the case is the central consideration of any exercise of discretion.

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  • Damages in lieu of an injunction in New Zealand: Closing your ears to the public interest?

    Blummont, Dion (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    An award of damages in lieu of an injunction can have vast and far-reaching consequences. It can undermine legal rights by permitting an offensive activity.. On the other hand, that activity may benefit society through employment or public utility, and awarding damages in lieu would allow society to be better off than if an injunction was awarded. For over a century, the court's discretion to award damages in lieu was restricted in Shelfer v City of London Electric. The UK Supreme Court in Lawrence v Fen Tigers did away with the restrictions around the discretion, opening up the area to an endless range of considerations. This essay examines the position of damages in lieu in New Zealand. A range of different jurisdictions are examined, leading to the conclusion that New Zealand will adopt that law shift in Fen Tigers. A range of non-exclusive considerations are formulated. Finally, the quantum of a damages in lieu award is examined with reference to 'wrongful use' damages.

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  • Should there be a right to be forgotten (the right to make search engines hide information about you) in New Zealand? An analysis of Google v Spain

    Fraser, Anna (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper uses a New Zealand perspective to evaluate the recently established “right to be forgotten” formed by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case of Google Spain. The right to be forgotten gives individuals the right to have the link to prejudicial personal information deleted from a search engine’s list of results following a search of their name. This paper uses the Google Spain judgment as an avenue to explore how this right was construed based on the European legislation. It then illustrates the current shape of this right by evaluating the principles emerging out of the decisions since its creation. The validity and practicality of the right is then assessed through a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages, which are used to decide that it is desirable to have a right to be forgotten in New Zealand. Finally by analysing the existing legal tools in New Zealand, this paper concludes that there is scope for a right to be forgotten to exist in New Zealand under s 12 of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015.

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  • Health Practitioner Notification of Competence Concerns: Career Suicide v Patient Safety?

    Miller, Anita (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights 1996 (Code of Rights) confirms that patients are entitled to health services that are provided with reasonable care and skill, and that comply with legal, professional, ethical and other standards.¹ “Reasonable care and skill” signifies the need for competent practice; patients are entitled to trust that their health provider has the necessary skills to safely provide health services. Likewise, a patient can expect a practitioner to practise in a manner that adheres to all relevant ethical duties, whatever those duties might be. Health providers have a corresponding duty to uphold the rights set out in the Code of Rights.² With these patient rights and provider duties in mind, the focus of this paper is on the regulatory framework established by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act) and, in particular, the existence of a discretionary notification regime for health practitioners to report concerns about incompetent colleagues. This paper discusses how the Act came about, how it seeks to assure practitioner competence, the process for notification of competence concerns and the reasons why discretionary notification was adopted for practitioners. Using a patient-centric approach, it then questions whether discretionary notification is appropriate to ensure that the health and safety of the public is protected and whether ethical obligations act to address any possible deficiencies. It is suggested that professional and workplace pressures, and concerns about career advancement, may act to prevent health practitioners from exercising their discretion to notify, creating a risk that incompetent practice will go unreported and expose patients to harm. It is also argued that unless ethical obligations are consistent across the regulated professions and are enforced by relevant agencies they will not provide an effective “back-stop” to discretionary notification. Options for improvement or change are then canvassed, including the need for New Zealand based research into practitioner reporting behaviour and education and consistent guidance on the discretionary reporting threshold. Finally, it is proposed that, subject to research findings and the effect (if any) of suggested improvements, mandatory reporting may need to be reconsidered, and a proposal for amendments to the current statutory regime is set out and discussed. ¹ Rights 4(1) and 4(2). The Code of Rights is a regulation promulgated under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994. ² Clause 2.

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  • The person who really loves me will be the one who helps me die: A critique of Seales v Attorney-General

    Grey, Louise Ellen Sadler (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Euthanasia is a deeply personal and multifaceted topic that has become increasingly relevant in contemporary society. New Zealand’s stance on the practice of assisted dying was unsuccessfully challenged in Seales v Attorney-General. This paper critically evaluates the foundations of that decision, applying the R v Hansen majority test for interpreting legislation that appears inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. The right to life bears a broad meaning capable of including a right to die; furthermore the rights methodology adopted is out of step with New Zealand case law and commentary. The purpose of criminalising assisted suicide is attainable through regulating euthanasia, and an alternative reading was, at a stretch, tenable. This paper argues that the criminalisation of assisted suicide is inconsistent with the right to life, so a declaration of inconsistency was an appropriate remedy, if not a strained reading of the Crimes Act 1961 excluding euthanasia from the scope of suicide. Although lacking in legal significance, the decision’s enduring importance lies in provoking discussion and potential reform. Future developments in this area will be watched with interest; Seales is undoubtedly not the end of the story but rather the beginning of a wider social conversation.

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  • Too Secret to Scrutinise? Executive accountability in foreign policy

    Bain, Eve (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The scrutiny of Executive action in foreign affairs is a constitutional function for which the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is primarily responsible. To this end Parliament has, in principle, unlimited inquiry powers. Yet our foreign affairs select committee, and those in other Anglo-Commonwealth jurisdictions, have in recent years experienced serious and on-going challenges to the fulfilment of their investigatory role. The public interest is being pulled in opposite directions: the Executive relies on national security considerations to justify confidentiality, whereas Parliament can (and should) demand disclosure in order to hold the Government accountable. This tension will be explored through examining if the recent work of FADT achieves the "robust scrutiny" envisaged by the 1985 select committee reforms, followed by a detailed analysis of the validity of one common limitation on inquiry powers, statutory secrecy provisions. Possible options for reform, namely processes for public interest immunity claims, independent arbitration and increased use of secret evidence, will be considered as possible means of strengthening the accountability of the Executive for its foreign policy activities. Political remedies are unsatisfactory to resolve this tension in the context of constitutional obligations and responsibilities.

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  • The European Union and the Cotonou Partnership Agreement

    Gallagher, James (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper examines the important relationship that exists between the European Union and the group of countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Island regions. By creating preferential trade deals and becoming the major contributor to international development, the European Union has sought to assist poorer states within these regions to develop into wealthier and more advanced economies. The European Union has done this through a series of international agreements, most recently through the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The Cotonou Partnership Agreement has a number of objectives; not only to provide financial aid and developmental assistance, but also to enhance and promote democracy, the rule of law, and human rights within member countries. Through mechanisms established under Treaty law, the parties to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement have been able to monitor and review the effective provision of development aid during the life of the Agreement. The Cotonou Partnership Agreement is a 20-year agreement that has built in five-yearly review procedures, and 2015 signals the third and final review. This final review will determine where the Agreement has succeeded and where it has failed, and it will identify areas in need of improvement to ensure maximum benefit for all parties during the remainder of its term. By taking a qualitative approach, this paper will argue that the Cotonou Partnership Agreement provides a model for future international relations based on democratic principles such as accountability and transparency.

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  • In defence of direct democracy: The case for binding citizens initiated referenda in New Zealand

    Stallmann, Finn (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    I argue that citizens initiated referenda (CIR) should be legally binding. While referenda are an established part of New Zealand’s constitutional framework, ordinary citizens only have the power to initiate nonbinding CIR. A system of binding CIR (BCIR) would be an improvement. Firstly, BCIR would give greater respect to individual citizens’ rationality, freedom and equality. Secondly, BCIR would make New Zealand more democratic. Thirdly, BCIR would have a number of instrumental benefits. Various arguments can be advanced in defence of the current representative democratic paradigm. They include common arguments such as those regarding voter incompetence, tyranny of the majority, and incompatibility with current governing arrangements. They are all flawed. In short, the people can be trusted to govern themselves. I finish my argument by providing an example of how the process of direct democratic lawmaking might work in New Zealand. It differs significantly from the current CIR process, but I do not mean to set it in stone. I use it to show how proper institutional design can refute some counterarguments. The final form will be decided upon by the people and their representatives.

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  • International student engagement in academic library instruction classes in New Zealand

    Paniora, Riki-Lee (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research Problem: The purpose of this study is to ascertain if New Zealand tertiary libraries are meeting the information literacy needs of international students’ specifically through engagement in library instruction classes. Methodology: A qualitative research design influenced by grounded theory was employed. Three international students’ participated in a semi structured focus group interview designed to explore their learning experiences in information literacy classes at their designated institute. Data collected was then analysed thematically. Results: Students had limited previous experience using a similar library to their current institute one therefore students valued library instruction. Communication difficulties were identified as the biggest barrier to engagement in library instruction and with library staff in general. Other campus wide environmental issues such as computer, Wi-Fi and internet access problems were also identified as barriers to their learning as international students’. Implications: In order to enhance the academic success of International students’, education providers must facilitate their acculturation into both New Zealand academic and social cultural milieu (Mackay, Harding, Jurlina, Scobie, & Khan, 2011). The findings from this study provide a snapshot of factors influencing the international student experience which currently is of strong significance as overseas student recruitment has become an important component of strategic planning at most tertiary institutions as increased enrolments contribute considerably to the New Zealand economy (New Zealand Ministry of Education, 2009). Further research into the topic of improving the International student experience in New Zealand should be undertaken to discover how to better support both tertiary institution goals and students’ learning experience.

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  • Part 14 – Too Much of a Compromise? Defining Classes for Creditor Compromise Approval

    Horner, James (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In 2013, the Auckland High Court delivered New Zealand’s leading judgment on the compromise with creditors process set out in Part 14 of the Companies Act 1993. In particular, the Court considered the way in which different classes of creditors might be grouped together for the purposes of approving a compromise arrangement. This essay considers the cogency of the Court’s conclusion on the class issue. It concludes that the outcome was possibly incorrect and that the Part 14 process warrants some legislative clarification.

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