6,199 results for Scholarly text

  • Forgotten victims? Male and child rape victims and the admissibility of sexual history evidence during trial

    Johnson, Alora Edith Maggie Skye (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper examines male and child victims of sexual offending within the context of New Zealand’s rape shield provision, s 44 of the Evidence Act 2006. By assessing the application of this provision to victims other than those it was drafted for (adult women), this paper firstly inspects the impact of rape myths on the concerning under-reporting of male victimisation. Secondly, in regard to child complainants, this paper argues that age-based assumptions attributed to children has resulted in a departure from the usual standard of s 44, the consequences of which has been a consistent failure to protect child victims from the harms of cross-examination during trial. This paper concludes that the inconsistency in the application of s 44 between child and adult complainants exemplifies the need for reform of the section and in particular the effect on the victim of including sexual history evidence should be a compulsory judicial consideration.

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  • Unsubstantiated representations under the Fair Trading Act: An analysis

    Koo, Zhi Ern (Sarah) (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Section 12A of the Fair Trading Act 1986 was recently inserted following the passage of the Consumer Law Reform Bill in 2013, and came into force on 17 June 2014. The provision introduces a general prohibition on unsubstantiated representations being made by anyone promoting goods and services in trade. As the provision is only a year old, the Commerce Commission have not yet brought any cases on the provision before the courts. A body of case law examining the effects arising from this amendment has therefore not yet been developed. This paper seeks to analyse the effects which have been brought about by established substantiation policies in other jurisdictions, in order to provide a number of possible outcomes which may arise in New Zealand following the introduction of s 12A. It also considers whether there is a need to specifically regulate unsubstantiated representations in New Zealand and if so whether a general prohibition is the best approach. In conclusion, both queries are answered in the affirmative as the overall benefits of implementing a general prohibition against unsubstantiated claims will likely contribute beneficially to New Zealand’s economy.

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  • The Implicit Legitimisation of Violence against Women in New Zealand Homicide Cases: Did Abolishing Provocation Address Public Concerns?

    Doidge, Isla Mirren (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The partial defence of provocation was inappropriately used by abusive men that killed their partners for challenging them. This led to concerns that provocation was implicitly legitimising violent reactions toward women who were perceived to have challenged their male partner’s sexuality. Despite the abolition of provocation, this paper finds a continuation of the concerns that arose from the use of provocation in post-abolition homicide sentencing decisions. Specifically, the recognition of perceived lower culpability of men that had killed their female partners in the form of manslaughter verdicts, or through inappropriate mitigating features, continues to be an issue. For this reason, I argue that establishing the Sentencing Council, as recommended by the Law Commission, is the best way to address these concerns.

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  • Performance Reporting by New Zealand Central Government Agencies

    Murwanto, Rahmadi (2011)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This study attempts to assess longitudinally the increase in the quality of performance information resulting from the Managing for Outcome (MfO) initiative, embarked on by the New Zealand Government in December 2001, and to identify the internal and external factors influencing the increase in quality. To measure the quality of performance information, a disclosure index was developed. The index assesses the comprehensiveness of information in compliance with available guidance, and reflects the approaches used by Marston and Shrives (1991), and Guthrie et. al. (2004). The disclosure analysis was applied to publicly available planning documents - the Statement of Intent and Annual Report of 27 New Zealand Government departments over the period 2003-2007. Agency theory, focusing on the role of information in the accountability relationship between principals and their agents, and public choice theory, focusing on the mechanisms to mitigate public choice problems, are used to explain the improvement in the quality of performance information and the external and internal factors influencing the improvement in quality. The roles performed and the activities initiated and implemented by ministers and other government agencies in the MfO initiative are identified and analysed. The data for the study was obtained from the reports of selected New Zealand central government departments and from semi-structured interviews. The findings support the Auditor General's assertion of disappointing quality in performance information. Weak incentives for reporting outcomes, the lack of authoritative reporting standards, and constraints on measuring performance have been the key factors in explaining the lack of meaningful progress in New Zealand performance reporting practice implemented under the MfO initiative. The initiatives do not include proper accountability arrangements, where the ministers responsible for outcomes also report; instead the current arrangement is that chief executives report but are not themselves accountable.

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  • New Zealand Works for Contrabassoon

    Roud, Hayley Elizabeth (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The contrabassoon is seldom thought of as a solo instrument. Throughout the long history of contraregister double-reed instruments the assumed role has been to provide a foundation for the wind chord, along the same line as the double bass does for the strings. Due to the scale of these instruments - close to six metres in acoustic length, to reach the subcontra B flat’’, an octave below the bassoon’s lowest note, B flat’ - they have always been difficult and expensive to build, difficult to play, and often unsatisfactory in evenness of scale and dynamic range, and thus instruments and performers are relatively rare. Given this bleak outlook it is unusual to find a number of works written for solo contrabassoon by New Zealand composers. This exegesis considers the development of contra-register double-reed instruments both internationally and within New Zealand, and studies five works by New Zealand composers for solo contrabassoon, illuminating what it was that led them to compose for an instrument that has been described as the 'step-child' or 'Cinderella' of both the wind chord and instrument makers.

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  • Sequence Stratigraphy, Chronostratigraphy and Zircon Geochronology of the CIROS-1 Drill Core, Ross Sea, Antarctica: Implications for Cenozoic Glacial and Tectonic Evolution

    Van de Ven, Evelien (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Antarctica plays a central role in the global climate system. Understanding the continent's past climate interactions is key to predicting its future response to, and influence on, global climate change. In recent decades, sediment cores drilled on the Antarctic continental margin have provided direct evidence of past climatic and tectonic events. Drilled in 1986 from sea ice in western McMurdo Sound, the pioneering 702 m-long CIROS-1 core extended back to the Late Eocene and provided some of the first evidence of the antiquity and history of the Antarctic ice sheets. The CIROS-1 drill core recovered a depositional history of the western margin of the Victoria Land Basin adjacent to the Trans-Antarctic Mountains. It was located directly offshore from where the Ferrar Glacier, which drains the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, discharges into the Ross Sea. Consequently CIROS-1 contains a record of both the glacial and tectonic Cenozoic evolution of the Antarctic margin. This thesis provides a timely re-evaluation of the CIROS-1 core with new analysis techniques that enable further insights into the glacial and tectonic history of the western Ross Sea region, and includes three key objectives: (1) Re-examine CIROS-1 sedimentology and stratigraphy and provide a new facies and sequence stratigraphic analysis using modern methods developed from recent drilling projects (e.g. CRP, ANDRILL). (2) Develop a new integrated chronostratigraphic model through an assessment and compilation of previous studies, which provides a context for the interpretation of detrital zircon data, climate and tectonic history. (3) Undertake a detailed examination of the provenance of CIROS-1 sediments using cutting edge in situ analysis techniques of detrital zircons (U-Pb and trace element analysis using LA-ICP-MS). Glaciomarine sequence stratigraphic analysis identifies 14 unconformity-bound sequences occurring in two distinctive stratigraphic motifs. The four sequences located beneath the 342 mbsf unconformity contain relatively complete vertical facies succession. They were deposited in shallow marine, fluvio-deltaic conditions with distal glaciers terminating on land, and possibly calving into the ocean in adjacent valleys as evidenced by occasional ice-rafted debris. The ten sequences located above ~342 mbsf have a fundamentally different architecture. They are incomplete (top-truncated), contain subglacial and ice proximal facies grading upsequence into distal glaciomarine and shelf conditions. Top truncation of these sequences represents overriding of the CIROS-1 site by the paleo-Ferrar Glacier during glacial phases. A revised age model for CIROS-1 is presented that utilises new calibrations for Antarctic diatom zones and compiles three previously published age models for different sections of the core (Roberts et al., 2003; Wilson et al., 1998; Hannah et al., 1997). The new age model allows correlation of Late Oligocene cycles with coeval cycles in CRP-2/2A, 80 km to the north. A fundamental orbital control on the dynamics of these East Antarctic Ice Sheet outlet glaciers is evident from this comparison. Both glacier systems respond in-phase to longer-period orbital components (e.g. eccentricity 100 kyr and 400 kyr), but differ in their sensitivity to precession (20 kyr). It appears that during the Late Oligocene the Ferrar catchment responded to 20 kyr precession cycles, whilst the larger MacKay Glacier, which is more directly connected to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, responded to longer duration 125 kyr (eccentricity) forcing. CIROS-1 zircons group into four distinct geochemical suites. Zircons formed in felsic igneous environments dominate the CIROS-1 population, with 89 % of zircons analysed showing geochemical characteristics inherent to granitic/rhyolitic zircons. Approximately 7 % of CIROS-1 zircons have a highly trace element enriched igneous provenance and were most probably sourced from enriched enclaves in granitic/rhyolitic units or from pegmatites. Approximately 3 % of CIROS-1 zircons show a metamorphic geochemical signature, and ~1 % formed in trace element depleted igneous environments. The zircons were sourced from the local basement (Koettlitz, Granite Harbour Groups), the Beacon Supergroup, and potentially, lithologies of the East Antarctic Craton located under the ice, or components of the Trans-Antarctic Mountains located under the current baseline of geologic exposure. Large-scale, systematic temporal trends in zircon characteristics have been divided into three distinct climatic periods: Zone 1 (702-366 mbsf, Late Eocene), Zone 2 (366-250 mbsf, Late Oligocene) and Zone 3 (< 250 mbsf, Late Oligocene and Early Miocene). Zircons deposited during these periods show unique properties. During Zone 1, Antarctica experienced a relatively warm temperate climate and alpine style glaciers flowed eastwards through the Trans-Antarctic Mountains. Zircons in this zone contain a subtle record of unroofing of geochemically zoned Granite Harbour and Koettlitz units located in the Ferrar Valley. During Zone 2 deposition, glaciers flowed though the Trans-Antarctic Mountains draining a large and ephemeral EAIS, which oscillated on orbital time scales. Zircons in this interval show variable properties, high numbers and were most probably deposited as the paleo-Ferrar Glacier deeply incised the Ferrar Fiord. In contrast, Zone 3 is characterised by a flux of McMurdo Volcanic Complex derived sediments, together with systematic changes in zircon characteristics. These patterns indicate a Late Oligocene shift in ice flow to the site (above ~250 mbsf). Due to a cooling that culminated in the Mi-1 glaciation, ice flow to the site changed from an eastward to a northward flow, in response to an increased ice volume in the Ross embayment.

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  • Machine Actuated Craft

    Murdoch, Jonathan William (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Throughout history the use of scale representations has been important in the process of creating architecture. In recent times the introduction of computer-aided design (CAD) has significantly altered traditional methods of conceptual design representation, mainly through a shift from the physical to the virtual. The aim of the research is to explore the relationship between computer aided manufacturing (CAM) and the methods for extracting and producing qualities of a conceptual nature from computer and numerically controlled (CNC) machine, and how this could advance conceptual creativity formulating in buildable form. The qualities that are inherently produced by CNC machining processes are then captured back into the three-dimensional environment (CAD), and then re-exported via CNC machining. The information that flows from the digital to the physical and then back again, creates new physical qualities that would not normally be produced, and allows for further investigation. Through the misrepresentation and reinterpretation of machine processes in this research, the output produces an object of an abstract nature created through identifying extraordinary expressions of tool paths. This 1:1 abstract object expresses qualities of craft produced by the CNC machine and creates a new form of craft that can be compared to the expression of the traditional craftsman and their trade. This simple movement between scales and formats begins to generate new design processes that in turn translate the conceptual expression of the object into a buildable form. On final completion of the object this project has proven that CAM conceptual creativity can be translated and formulated into built form. A key observation of this research is that identifying CAM production techniques can produce abstract representation through a new means of design representation.

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  • EEG evidence for the effective proactive control of emotional distraction

    Murphy, Justin (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Recent behavioural studies using an emotional flanker task have found that task-irrelevent emotional images are more distracting than neutral images under infrequent, but not frequent, distractor conditions.It has been proposed the effective control of distraction in the high distractor frequency condition may be due to a shift to a proactive control strategy, whereby a potential distraction is anticipated and minimised in advance. However, although it is well established that proactive control is effective at reducingneutral distraction, it is not yet clear whether emotional distraction can be effectively proactively controlled. In this thesis, I used EEG to measure pre-stimulus indices of proactive control in order to determine whether proactive control is responsible for the effective control of emotional and neutral distraction in the high distractor frequency condition, as well asto examine whether proactive control differs according whether a neutral or emotional distraction is anticipated.In addition to replicating the previous behavioural findings, posterior EEG alpha was found to be tonically suppressed in the high compared to low distractor frequency condition, strongly supporting the hypothesis that proactive control was engaged in the high distractor frequency condition. By contrast, there was no difference in phasic alpha suppression (i.e., the drop in alpha in response to fixation onset) between conditions, indicating that the more effective control of distraction in the high frequency distractor conditions was due to a sustained proactive control strategy, rather than greater trial-by-trial preparation to attend to the target. In addition, no alpha lateralisation was found, indicating the mechanisms by which distraction was proactively controlled did not include the preparatory suppression of expected distractor locations. Finally, tonic alpha did not differ according to the expected distractor valence, but phasic alpha suppression was more pronounced when negative, compared to neutral or positive, distractors were expected, independent of distractor frequency condition. This suggests proactive control was also used to some extent in the low distractor frequency condition, but more importantly also provides initial evidence that the proactive control of negative distraction may be unique. Taken together, my findings provide compelling evidence that emotional distraction can be effectively proactively controlled. Future research is needed to determine the mechanisms by which this occurs, and whether the proactive control of emotional distraction is particularly effortful.

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  • Language learner cognition: Exploring adult migrants’ L2 activity beyond the classroom

    Navarro, Diego (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    For years, understanding the relationship between behaviour and cognition has been a central concern of research conducted in the social sciences. In fields as diverse as anthropology, business, medicine, and education it is widely accepted that the development of practice (as a type of behaviour), depends on a precise understanding of how thought gets carried into action. However, studies investigating the complex interplay between a learner’s cognition (i.e. thoughts, knowledge, beliefs, and feelings about L2 learning) and their behaviour (i.e. language-related activity) are only recently garnering attention. In addition, only few studies have looked at this dynamic process with adult participants beyond the language learning classroom. Framed within the context of naturalistic language learning, this investigation explores the social construction of adult (over 30 years of age) L2 learners’ cognition in an ESOL setting. Specifically it aimed to answer the following research questions: RQ 1. What are the prior language learning experiences of a group of adult migrant learners living in New Zealand? RQ 2. How have these prior language learning experiences influenced the construction and development of their beliefs, assumptions, knowledge (BAK) about language learning? RQ 3. What is their perceived need for English in their current socio-cultural context? RQ 4. How do adult migrant language learners engage in language related activities beyond the classroom? RQ 5. How can this language learning behaviour be reflected in a model of language learner cognition? The study combined a longitudinal, ethnographic approach, with elements of narrative and case study inquiry. Six ‘recently arrived’ (Dunstan, Roz, & Shorland, 2004a) Colombian migrants (five refugees; one immigrant) were asked to talk about and discuss both prior and current experiences learning and using an L2. Through these lengthy in-depth, conversation-like interviews conducted in Spanish (the participants’ L1), told over time, a nuanced picture of the participants’ L2-related cognition emerged. As a result, I was able to more clearly observe the dynamic process in which a language learner’s mental life both impacts and is impacted on by language-related activity throughout their day-to day interactions. The participants are seen engaging in the L2 across a range of settings including at home, the doctor’s office, supermarkets and work. Moreover, in their accounts of this engagement we see change and revision (i.e. development) in their thinking about L2 learning and themselves as language learners, as well as their feelings toward the L2, other L2s and L2 users. A single participant was selected as an exemplary case to examine in detail, and facilitate understanding of this development. A case study approach allowed for a more intricate exploration of how the interplay between thought, emotion, and context impacted on the learner’s approaches to language-related activities. Issues regarding readiness to interact in the L2, intelligibility, language variety, and aversion to the ‘sound of English’ were seen as playing significant roles in the learner’s language development. This analysis resulted in the construction of a framework depicting language learner cognition in action. In terms of implications, this research supports the case for more qualitative research in SLA which centres learners’ perspectives of their L2 related experiences, particularly when so much of what seems to be affecting learning is the learners understanding of themselves and their actions. It also argues that studies in L2 cognition should focus their investigations on the developmental processes involved in the social construction of the mental factors which impact language learning and use. Finally, while belief studies in SLA are expanding the scope of their investigations – by looking to include more emotion and other affective factors, as well as by branching out into self-related constructs such as self-concept and self-efficacy in the foreign language domain – these studies remain limited in their almost microscopic view of learners’ mental lives. The picture of cognition I offer provides a more holistic understanding of this phenomenon which helps account at a macro-level for L2 behaviour. The study also highlights the potential and power of data gathering methods which foreground the participants’ voices and ideas (i.e. in-depth, unstructured interviews told over time) – reminding us that it is important when looking for what drives language learning behaviour to consider what the learners feel and think.

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  • Digital service problems: Prevention and user persistence in solving them

    Nili, Alireza (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The service sector is an important and consistently growing sector of the world economy. It is estimated that the sector will make up two thirds of the total world Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Information Technology (IT) has been an important contributor to the fast and high grow of the sector by increasingly digitising the production, delivery and use of services. IT has enabled multiple parties, including user support service staff, employees (internal IT users) and customers (external IT users) of an organisation, to engage in the production, delivery and use of digital services. Consequently, both users and user support service staff of the organisations have an increased responsibility to both prevent IT problems from occurring, and solve them when they do occur. Problems with ITs can occur at different stages of a digital service value chain (i.e. sequential steps/stages required to produce and deliver a digital service), and may lead to a service failure in the user’s mind. Examples include problems with a self-check-out machine at a library, problems with an online registration system that occurs for university students, or a website that does not include an online payment functionality a user expects. Numerous studies in both Information Systems (IS) and service literature have focused on the role of the service staff in both preventing and solving digital service failures, but few have considered the user’s role in these. This thesis includes four original articles. The first article emphasises that prevention from digital service failures must be considered before establishing effective approaches to solving the problems. The article presents a typology of technologies and technological approaches that customers and businesses can use to support prevention from these failures. The rest of the articles consider situations where an IT-related service problem has occurred, and address the user’s behaviour of persistence in solving their own IT problem. From the user’s perspective, their persistence in solving the problem contributes to achieving a satisfactory outcome, and from the organisational perspective, such an outcome is important for maintaining their user satisfaction. User persistence is important both when trying to solve an IT problem alone, and when using support services. Studying user persistence can help organisations to design their user support services in a way that encourages user persistence, resolves the problems more efficiently and cheaply; and maintains their user satisfaction. The study of user persistence included the use of focus groups for data collection purposes. Surprisingly, qualitative methodology literature has little to say on analytical approaches to focus group data – particularly interactive participant data. Therefore, a focus group analysis framework was designed (presented in the second article) and was used in the analysis phase of the user persistence study. The third article uses the framework in its analysis phase, and (a) presents a conceptual clarification of user persistence in IT problem solving, (b) identifies the factors that contribute to user persistence, (c) develops a theory to explain that why a user decides to persist with a method of solving IT problems, and (d) develops a theory to explain that why the user decides to persist with the overall process (collective methods) of solving the problem. The fourth article presents the results of evaluating the robustness of the two theories and shows that the two theories are confirmed. The thesis concludes with the ‘contributions and conclusion’ chapter where it presents a summary of the contributions of the four articles to IS theory, methodology and practice.

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  • Denigration of the Criminal Justice System: A reflection of the 1970s New Zealand courts through an analysis of the Arthur Allan Thomas trials

    Chu, Judy (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper is a critique of New Zealand’s criminal justice system as it existed in the 1970s. Through an analysis of the Arthur Allan Thomas trials, in which the courts failed to produce a just result, it will demonstrate how the system was crippled by three of its major components; the prosecution, the judiciary and the jury. While acknowledging the prominent roles played by the defence and the police in the Thomas case, they will not be the focus of this paper. After setting out the chronology of appeals and proceedings that lead up to Thomas’ royal pardon, this paper will go on to explain why the criminal justice system was ineffective. It will do so by unravelling the systematic bias and unethical practice that occurred within the prosecution and the judiciary. Lastly, it will illustrate the adverse effect such practices had on the impartiality of jurors.

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  • An Examination of the Chance Elements in Witold Lutosławski's Music, with Particular Attention to Its Function as a Model for Compositional Practice

    Hextall, Pieta (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis studies the use of aleatory techniques in Witold Lutosławski's music and the issues that arise when using aleatoricism, a branch of textural composition that has room for exploration. I focused my study on three of Lutosławski's major works, analysing his approach to aleatoricism, form, and macro- and micro-rhythm. I wrote three works for the portfolio component. My approach to aleatoricism differed in each work. Through studying Lutosławski and my own composition, I came across practical issues in creating the score, issues with performers, and compositional problems. However, once these issues were worked though, aleatoricism is a exciting compositional device that is not yet tired.

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  • Costing the cold: Connecting fuel poverty & supplier switching in Wellington, New Zealand

    McLean, Sam (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Fuel poverty describes the inability of households to afford adequate energy services, such as space heating. In New Zealand, where 25% of households are estimated to be ‘fuel poor’, high electricity prices in a restructured electricity market have an important influence on fuel poverty. However, the ability of the New Zealand Government to regulate these high electricity prices is constrained. Consequently, there is a strong reliance on consumers to switch energy suppliers, which promotes competitive prices and in turn regulates the price of electricity. In contrast to energy efficiency improvements, switching offers fuel poor households a low-cost opportunity to improve the short-term affordability of energy services. Yet, switching is suggested to not benefit fuel poor households who are in most need of affordable energy. This thesis explored the relationship between fuel poverty and supplier switching in Wellington, New Zealand through a geographic lens. First, a new approach to identifying fuel poverty in New Zealand was applied. Using geographic information systems (GIS), a fuel poverty index was calculated to identify fuel poverty in Wellington at meshblock level. Spatial analysis of the index revealed the complexity of identifying fuel poverty and the extent to which the spatial distribution of fuel poverty in Wellington is shaped by the city’s colonial history. The index was then used to identify survey participants through which a survey was conducted exploring Wellington households’ switching behaviours. In a competitive market, consumers are expected to switch according to economically rational behaviours. However, switching behaviours in the survey sample were influenced by factors other than these economically rational behaviours. Integrating the findings of this thesis supports suggestions that switching is not benefiting the fuel poor. Finally, this thesis sheds light on the extent to which an understanding of the geography of fuel poverty can be applied towards improving the effectiveness of policy and equitable outcomes for fuel poor households.

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  • See you on Wall St. Sept 17. Bring Tent: Occupy Wall Street, Framing, and Mobilisation

    Bigwood, Sam (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The phenomenon of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has been widely discussed in the academic and popular discourse. Of its many contributions, the language of the Occupy Movement has had a profound influence on contemporary discussions about inequality – contrasting the ‘99%’ with the ‘1%’ is now a permanent part of the conversation. However, despite this discursive shift, the literature has yet to seriously consider how the ideational elements of OWS influenced its mobilisation. While changing the dominant discourse is an important achievement, mobilising collective action around a cause remains an essential task for social movements. To explain social movement mobilisation, this thesis utilises the framing perspective, which seeks to understand why and how certain ideas are able to inspire or inhibit collective action. By using qualitative analysis of movement texts over time, this thesis has constructed the key frames articulated in selected OWS documents over the course of its serious efforts to mobilise. More specifically, it has examined whether changes in the movement’s use of diagnostic, prognostic, motivational, and identity frames can explain the trajectory of mobilisation. The central argument is that the framing perspective can offer a plausible explanation for the mobilisation of OWS; a correlation between changes in framing and expected changes in mobilisation can be observed. However, while the findings of this thesis fill one important part of the puzzle, in order to corroborate the arguments put forward here future research must consider the way the frames proffered by OWS were actually received and acted (or not acted) upon by potential participants. By doing so, we can not only gain a more perceptive insight into this topical phenomenon, but also improve our understanding of the nature and dynamics of contemporary social movements.

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  • Fertility and HIV risk in Africa

    Yao, Yao (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper examines the role of social and cultural norms regarding fertility in women’s HIV risk in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fertility, or the ability to bear children, is highly valued in most African societies, and premarital fertility is often encouraged in order to facilitate marriage. This, however, increases women’s exposure to HIV risk by increasing unprotected premarital sexual activity. I construct a lifecycle model that relates a woman’s decisions concerning sex, fertility and education to HIV risk. The model is calibrated to match Kenyan women’s data on fertility, marriage and HIV prevalence. Quantitative results show that fertility motives play a substantial role in women’s, especially young women’s, HIV risk. If premarital births did not facilitate marriage, the HIV prevalence rate of young women in Kenya would be one-third lower. Policies that subsidize income, education, and HIV treatment are evaluated. I find that education subsidy would reduce young women’s HIV risk most effectively by raising the opportunity cost of premarital childrearing.

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  • Higher education expansion, economic reform and labor productivity

    Yao, Yao (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper studies the impact of higher education expansion, along with economic reform of the state sector, in the late 1990’s in China on its labor productivity. I argue that in an economy such as China, where allocation distortions widely exist, an educational policy affects average labor productivity not only through its effect on human capital stock, but also through its effect on human capital allocation across sectors. Thus, its impact could be very limited if misallocation becomes more severe following the policy. I construct a two-sector general equilibrium model with private enterprises and state-owned enterprises, with policy distortions favoring the latter. Households, heterogeneous in ability, make educational choices and occupational choices in a threeperiod overlapping-generations setting. Counterintuitively, quantitative analysis shows an overall negative effect of higher education expansion on average labor productivity (by 5 percent). Though it did increase China’s skilled human capital stock significantly (by nearly 50 percent), the policy had the effect of reallocating relatively more human capital toward the less-productive state sector. This also directed physical capital allocation toward the state sector and further dampened average labor productivity. It was the economic reform that greatly improved the allocation efficiency and complemented educational policy in enhancing labor productivity (by nearly 50 percent).

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  • I Love Ali: a Telefeature

    Arapai, Arnette Makimou (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    One man's quest to meet his idol 'Muhammad Ali', the Greatest boxer of all time...

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  • Polynomial Invariants of the Euclidean Group Action on Multiple Screws

    Crook, Deborah (2009)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In this work, we examine the polynomial invariants of the special Euclidean group in three dimensions, SE(3), in its action on multiple screw systems. We look at the problem of finding generating sets for these invariant subalgebras, and also briefly describe the invariants for the standard actions on R^n of both SE(3) and SO(3). The problem of the screw system action is then approached using SAGBI basis techniques, which are used to find invariants for the translational subaction of SE(3), including a full basis in the one and two-screw cases. These are then compared to the known invariants of the rotational subaction. In the one and two-screw cases, we successfully derive a full basis for the SE(3) invariants, while in the three-screw case, we suggest some possible lines of approach.

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  • Consensus Gained, Consensus Maintained? Changing New Zealand's Electoral Law 1927-2007

    Christmas, James (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In the eighty years between the passage of New Zealand's first unified Electoral Act in 1927, and the passage of the Electoral Finance Act 2007, the New Zealand Parliament passed 66 acts that altered or amended New Zealand's electoral law. One central assumption of theories of electoral change is that those in power only change electoral rules strategically, in order to protect their self-interest.1 This thesis is an investigation into the way New Zealand governments effect and have effected their desired changes to the electoral law through the legislative process, and the roles self-interest and the active search for consensus between political parties have played in that process. It argues that, while self-interest serves as a compelling explanation for a great deal of electoral law change in New Zealand, altruistic motivations and the development of parliamentary processes influenced behaviour to an equal, and perhaps even greater, extent.

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  • In Search of Effective Principal Appraisal

    Chapman, Patricia (2008)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The board of trustees of each New Zealand state and integrated school is responsible for the performance appraisal of its principal. Empirical data on the effectiveness of the appraisal for principals and boards is scarce. This research set out to describe principal appraisal within a region containing approximately one tenth of New Zealand schools. A survey to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the 2006 appraisal was completed by the principal and/or chair of just under half the schools in the region. The results suggest four critical success factors: the way in which the appraiser is selected and their personal qualities; the fairness and clarity of the process; the specific expectations that principals and chairs have of the outcome; and the completeness and congruity of principals' and chairs' understanding of appraisal. The reported experiences were mostly positive. However, understanding and resourcing of effective practice was found to be limited. A professional external appraiser and good interpersonal chemistry are dominant contributors to a satisfying appraisal experience. A functioning process with adequate resourcing and time for evidence gathering and evaluation, appear to be important appraisal prerequisites but do not guarantee a satisfying outcome. Unsatisfying appraisal experiences can be traced to a lack of clear understanding of appraisal aims and practice, together with resources to support their development. It is further compounded by the transient nature of boards. Four key action programmes are suggested to address shortcomings and recommendations are outlined for key stakeholders.

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