6,629 results for Victoria University of Wellington

  • When we all clap together: Labour unions as agents of development for informal cremation workers in Tamil Nadu

    Naylor, Michael Christopher (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    While labour unions have a history of helping lift working people out of poverty in Western countries, their place in development is unclear. Mainstream development literature typically sees their potential contribution to development to be limited and waning as they are replaced by new, more dynamic actors. This dismissal of labour unions from the development sphere appears to stem largely from their inability to effectively support workers in the informal economy of developing countries, whom are the most likely to face injustice and poverty. In order to address the question of whether labour unions can be agents for development of informal workers this thesis examines a case study of the Mayana Vettiyangal Sangam, a labour union of informal cremation workers in Tamil Nadu, India. Through semi-structured interviews with 39 members and supporters of the labour union, this thesis explores both the mechanics of the Mayana Vettiyangal Sangam and what it has achieved for its cremation worker members. It sets out to understand what strategies can be employed for informal workers to undertake collective bargaining and how effective these have been at delivering livelihood improvements for the cremation workers in Tamil Nadu. It also assesses both the functions of the Sangam and what it has achieved, against three principles of ‘good development’ – participation, sustainability and equity. The findings show that through a mixture of innovative strategies the cremation workers in Tamil Nadu have been able to achieve some livelihood improvements and do so in a manner which is both participatory and equitable. It suggests that despite challenges, labour unions can be agents of development for informal workers and their potential contribution to development should not be overlooked.

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  • Algorithmic Design in Hybrid Housing Systems

    Paulin, Robert (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis utilises digital tools to explore notions of flexibility and resilience in the New Zealand suburban house typology. Through aligning with culturally specific paradigms found in traditional Māori Papakāinga settlements, the research questions current western models of community and connectedness through digital simulations. The methodology brings together social, cultural and climactic forces as key influences to internal domestic programme and overall form. The design process is informed by occupancy requirements associated with family types and projected domestic behaviour. This is mapped to cumulative weather data in relation to location and context. Buildable form is therefore a reflection of site specific conditions and planning in relation to various social configurations influenced by culture and community. A key aspect of this research is the creation of a residential model for multi-generational living. Long term adaptability of this residential model is established through planning for future organic expansion & contraction within the development through the careful consideration of modular building platforms that can deal with varying degrees of social diversity. This design research is largely influenced by pre-Socratic theorists and architects working on translating social, geographical and cultural information into data that can inform computational design and simulations. This form of design interpretation through mathematics has arguably stemmed from the birth of calculus in the 17th century, whereby a formula is used to clarify equations with a multitude of variables often represented by Letters and symbols. Utilizing this knowledge in computer aided design (CAD) allows a designer to produce an equation that represents the process from data to design. Aligning design to the mathematical systems allows the work to represent a quantified, systematic depiction of information as opposed to the romanticized view of the ‘Genius Architect’. The workflow and theory behind this research solidifies the role of algorithmic design in architecture and testing the plausibility of these theories in a housing system. While being largely based on the theories of multi-agent systems and algorithmic design, this system also outlines a modular building technology that embellishes design diversity and flexibility. The architecture proposed utilizes parametric design tools and the concept of housing types in a state of flux, whereby the singular entity of the home is considered as part of a much wider collection of housing situations which is forever changing. By adopting the ecological approach seen in nature we allow the space for intergenerational, bicultural living arrangements that have the flexibility to respond to changes without diminishing the flow of social domains.

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  • The effect of novel kappa opioid peptide receptor agonists on learning and memory in rats

    Welsh, Susan Adele (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Kappa opioid peptide receptors (KOPrs) are a class of opioid receptors which shown analgesic and anti-addictive properties. Nonaddictive analgesics would be beneficial as morphine, one of the most commonly prescribed opioids for chronic pain, activates the brain reward system and can lead to addiction. Although medical research is progressing rapidly, there is still no treatment for psychostimulant abuse. KOPr agonists show promise in this regard but display undesirable side effects and could negatively affect memory. Salvinorin A (Sal A), a structurally unusual KOPr agonist, has a reduced side effect profile compared to the more traditional KOPr agonists such as U50,488. The effect of Sal A and U50,488 on memory is controversial as they have both been shown to induce a memory impairment and also to improve memory impairments. Sal A also has a poor pharmacokinetic profile with a short duration of action. Structural analogues of Sal A have improved pharmacokinetic and side effect profiles compared to Sal A yet retain the analgesic and anti-addiction properties. This thesis will investigate whether Sal A analogues, namely Ethynyl Sal A (Ethy Sal A), Mesyl Salvinorin B (Mesyl Sal B), and Bromo Salvinorin A (Bromo Sal A), produce a memory impairment. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were evaluated in the novel object recognition (NOR) task to determine whether novel Sal A analogues impair long term recognition memory. The degree of novelty was also investigated on a cellular basis through quantifying c-Fos immunoreactive neurons within the perirhinal cortex, an area of the brain shown to respond to novelty. Acute administration of Sal A (0.3 and 1 mg/kg) and novel analogues Ethy Sal A (0.3 and 1 mg/kg), Mesyl Sal B (0.3 and 1 mg/kg), and Bromo Sal A (1 mg/kg) showed no significant differences compared to vehicle when tested in the NOR task. The prototypical KOPr agonist, U50,488 (10 mg/kg), produced a significant decrease in recognition index compared to vehicle when tested in the same task as the novel analogues. Correlating the recognition indices calculated from U50,488 in the NOR to c-Fos counts in the perirhinal cortex showed a strong positive correlation with an increase in RI relating to an increase in c-Fos activation. U50,488 (10 mg/kg) showed a non-significant trend compared to vehicle in the number of c-Fos immunoreactive cells within the perirhinal cortex. Neither Sal A nor novel analogues affected NOR, suggesting no impairment of long term recognition memory. The lack of this side-effect, among others, demonstrates that the development of potent KOPr agonists with reduced side-effect profiles is feasible. These novel analogues show improvement over the traditional KOPr agonists.

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  • Aesthetics of Digital Emotion

    De Bono, James (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis explores the use of RTVE as a tool to produce atmosphere that evokes complex emotional response from virtual inhabitants of the space. Within architectural representation a shift to architectural visualisations in digital mediums have lost the prominence of the sensual communication of atmosphere and emotion in the abstract component of space. The Aesthetics of Emotion constructs a methodology to reintroduce this sensuality into digital space, that draws from knowledge of both the intangible atmosphere and the technical Presence to allow an iterative articulation of objective atmospheric design within digital space.

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  • Talk It Out: Promoting Verbal Communication Through Virtual Reality Games

    Bodnar, James (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Verbal communication skills have been shown to be important for both social and professional settings. However, a need for greater communication skills has been identified for graduated students entering the workplace, specifically task-based verbal communication (Daniels, 2001). In light of these findings new communication teaching techniques need to be explored to better prepare our students for effectively communicating information in their future work environment. This thesis researched the potential for virtual reality video games to promote verbal communication skills in students. The motivation behind using virtual reality video games to teach these skills is based on the theory (Richard Van Eck, 2006) that video games have the potential to enhance the learning outcome of students. Initial research also shows that virtual reality experiences further immerse the player in the educational setting improving their engagement with the game's content (Thornhill-Miller & Dupont, 2016). The thesis researched how virtual reality games can teach verbal communication skills firstly by analysing past works, completing an in- depth literature review and multiple case studies. Secondly, by using research through design methods in the creation of a prototype game that incorporates both communication and game teaching mechanics researched in the first stage. Finally, user tests were conducted on the prototype game to analyse how effective it was at promoting verbal communication skills in students. The paper’s outcome was that virtual reality games can be effective at promoting verbal communication skills and have tested specific teaching techniques and video game mechanics that can be used to effectively promote these skills.

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  • Rebuilding Sustainable Transport in Christchurch? A mixed-methods study of the effects of workplace relocation on transport choice and emissions

    Whitwell, Kate (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Tackling the challenge of climate change will require rapid emissions reductions across all sectors, including transport. This study adds to the literature by investigating factors that may encourage sustainable transport choices at a time of change and therefore reduce emissions. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods was used to explore the impact of a relocation of employees from several dispersed work locations back to one office building in the central business district on transport choices and carbon emissions in Christchurch, New Zealand. This case study found that such a recentralisation of employment can result in employees making more sustainable transport choices and can contribute to decreases in transport emissions from commuting, even in a highly car-dependent city. The relocation led to a 12 percent rise in the proportion of employees commuting actively or by public transport and resulted in a significant drop in commuting emissions (16 percent). The primary contributing factor was the change in location of the office itself, reducing the average commuting distance and increasing accessibility to public transport and active travel. A further contributing factor was the perceived reduction in parking availability at the new location. Further results support the existing literature on barriers to sustainable transport, identifying any factor that impacts on the feasibility of the journey by alternative modes, such as commute time or safety, as a significant barrier to uptake. Overall findings suggest that relocating offices provides a good opportunity to encourage employees to consider changing to a more sustainable commute mode, and that significant numbers may make such a shift if commute time or distance are reduced. Realising substantial mode shift however will depend on cities providing feasible and efficient sustainable alternatives to driving a car to work.

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  • Density and Desire: Toward's New Zealand's peculiar urban dream

    Coxhead, Vanessa (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Density and Desire explores changes in the social organisation of New Zealand, the notion and use of the home, the contribution of dwellings in our cities and an alternative vision for the future dwelling. New Zealand is experiencing a period of rapid transformation that is changing the way we live, work and socialise, as well as our sense of cultural identity. Our population is becoming dramatically more diverse, more urban, and of very different age and family profiles, creating demand for a wider range of housing options that can adapt to changing social patterns. For these reasons and more, we face new questions about living in a community, of dwelling diversity, of promoting sociability, and of creating conditions for neighbourliness. The move towards higher density living in New Zealand’s major cities provides an exciting opportunity for architecture. There is an urgent need to build dwellings and this thesis argues that apartments are a necessary part of our future. However, there is a certain stigma attached to apartment dwelling as ‘second best’ — if you can’t afford a house, you’ll settle for an apartment. The romance of the ‘Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise’ (Mitchell) is traded in for a plot peppered with horror stories: paper-thin walls, shoebox-sized ‘chicken coop’ confinement, lack of flexibility, onerous body corporate rules… the list could go on, and it does. The research benchmarks itself against the quantity and the quality of the single detached dwelling on a quarter-acre block both as a spatial measure and the representation of home. By asking ‘how many more dwellings can we get on that space’ and ‘what is the notion of home in the future’, it seeks to resolve some of the problems associated with our initial round of higher density. Domestic architecture can be defined as a system of relationships between oppositions — this thesis explores these relationships through three strategies: Hybrid, Separations & Connections, and Looseness. Each of these deals with the spatial and social characteristics of the city and the home and are used as a technique for controlling relationships at a range of scales and intimacies — from urban to interior — and as a tool for connecting or interrupting the public and private, inside and outside, and building and landscape. Density and Desire offers a conceptual framework with a series of strategies that demonstrate the potential of the apartment building to re-define urban living and the peculiar New Zealand urban dream.

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  • Second-hand poetics: Dynamic shifts from home to monument

    Williams, Tina (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis began with an Antarctic story. There is something sublime about the adventures of Scott and Shackleton; their ability to entertain the emotive sensation of place, despite a physical detachment. Tales of exploration arrest moments of suspense, drama and inspiration and yet they are surrounded by the fact that Antarctica is a barren, isolated expanse. The opportunity of these particular constructs, which operate between intimacy and departure, to serve the creation of a special experience, it exists beyond the replication of these narratives; they might suggest how New Zealand national identity might be framed. The natural architecture of the frozen continent is grand. Its timelessness rivals the foundations that the rest of the developed world is built on. Yet simultaneously its stories create a rapport which personalises identity and allows memory to be mobilised. New Zealand built history has only recently emerged but representationally the identity of the nation is monumental, especially in relation to Antarctic. This thesis asks how the relationship between NZ and Antarctica might be physically manifested through architecture, in order to deepen the stability of NZ historical identity. The project is situated on the Lyttelton harbour where New Zealand and Antarctica have historically converged. At this location the vicarious nature of the Antarctic story is exploited so that the sense of place might exist even though, physically and temporally, it is not attached to the Antarctic. This is realised through a set of imagined dwellings on Dampier Bay, which are contained within the definition of ‘Home’. The programme of this research acts to acknowledge this duality and formalises it as the ‘monument’ and the ‘home’. The primary understanding of programme will however be domestic, as it is the point at which our most intimate memories are created. The realisation of the monument will be introduced through the act of designing itself. Architecture is used as a tool to negotiate the exchange of personality between the two places and ideas, with the poetics of representation providing a framework for investigation. Because the method is derived from such poetics, my own subjective will is asserted onto these interpretations. The process has therefore become non-quantifiable, it relies instead on a level of intuition. The Antarctic story resonates with the moments we find identity in, they have the potential to complement New Zealand’s Architectural history where it is wanting of poetic agency.

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  • Uncovering the Gender Agenda - The Impacts of Fair Trade on Gender Relations in Chile

    Chapman, Jasmin (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Neoliberalism has perpetuated social inequality on a global scale. Augusto Pinochet’s neoliberal experiment would have significant repercussions on Chilean society. The evolution of export agriculture propelled Chile to economic success; a pioneer for the Latin American region. Unfortunately, macroeconomic advancements did not correlate to improvements in social equality. Fair trade, an alternative economic model, emerged in response to these growing inequalities. The movement promotes a more equitable distribution of wealth, despite operating within the neoliberal economy. Furthermore, the movement represents a promise of improved livelihoods to the producers and communities which have been marginalised by the predominant neoliberal system. The application of fair trade across Latin America has been extensive. In response to increased consumer demands, the range and volume of fair trade initiatives has continued to flourish. Chilean fair trade has demonstrated incredible potential through promoting improvements in labour conditions and community development. Furthermore, the low numbers of fair trade participants have proven beneficial in minimising opportunities for corruption. However, a lack of awareness has remained the largest barrier to future fair trade expansion in Chile. One of the most significant, yet controversial consequences of the export evolution was the emergence of the temporera labour force. Despite associations with severe labour abuses, temporera employment has improved significantly over the past thirty years. The temporeras of El Palqui have attributed these remarkable improvements to increased government support and union representation. Unfortunately, gender inequality continues to plague Chile, both within agriculture and on a national scale. Fair trades clauses on gender equality have demonstrated incredible potential to influence and improve gender relations in Chile. Collaboration between fair trade, alternative ethical trading initiatives, civil society and government appears to be particularly promising. Cooperation between these institutions holds the potential to transform opportunities for female exploitation into opportunities for their empowerment.

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  • Does the Occipital Face Area Contribute to Holistic Face Processing?

    Henderson, Gates (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Face perception depends on a network of brain areas that selectively respond to faces over non-face stimuli. These face-selective areas are involved in different aspects of face perception, but what specific process is implemented in a particular region remains little understood. A candidate processisholistic face processing, namely the integration of visual information across the whole of an upright face. In this thesis, I report two experimentsthat examine whether the occipital face area (OFA), a face-selective region in the inferior occipital gyrus, performs holistic processing for categorising a stimulus as a face. Both experiments were conducted using online, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to disrupt activity in the brain while participants performed face perception tasks. Experiment 1 was a localiser in which participants completed two face identification tasks while receiving TMS at OFA or vertex. Participants’ accuracy decreased for one of the tasks as a result of OFA but not vertex stimulation. This result confirms that OFA could be localised and its activity disrupted. Experiment 2 was a test of holistic processing in which participants categorised ambiguous two-tone images as faces or non-faces while TMS was delivered to OFA or vertex. Participants’ accuracy and response times were unchanged as a result of either stimulation. This result suggests that the OFA is not engaged in holistic processing for categorising a stimulus as a face. Overall, the currentresults are more consistent with previous studies suggesting that OFA is involved in processing of local face features/details rather than the whole face.

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  • Augmented Reality On Display: How might augmented reality technology be used to create meaningful interactive museum exhibits?

    Bishop, Jonathon (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The aim of this thesis is to explore augmented reality technology and the methods in which it can be applied to museum displays to enriching the experience of visitors. Artefacts within museums have rich histories which are not always apparent. This is due to the way artefacts are currently displayed and the way information is communicated in exhibitions. is project will set out design guidelines to inform the development of augmenting museum experiences. These guidelines will provide criteria and parameters for the use of augmented reality in museums, and will also be accessible to museum staff to create or enhance existing exhibits for visitors. The guidelines will be produced through a combination of different contextual research methods and will inform a final designed case study. These contextual research methods include: completing a practical exploration of augmented reality exhibits, reviewing museum practice and conducting a series of interviews directed at augmented reality experts. Once these guidelines are produced they will be tested using research through design and human centred design methods in a final case study. The findings of this thesis aim to emphasise how augmented reality is a tool for enhancing the communication of contextual history. It also forms the basis for further research into how augmented reality’s combination of virtual and physical worlds can broaden our experience of the museum space.

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  • Toward the Synthesis of the Fungal Metabolite (-)-TAN-2483B

    Phipps, Daniel (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In the search of chemical species with potential therapeutic biological activity, synthetic chemists have looked to nature for inspiration. Molecules built by biological machinery often have structures predisposed for biological interaction. (-)-TAN-2483B and the related compounds (-)-TAN-2483A, and waol A are fungal metabolites that display biological activity in kinase inhibition and parathyroid-induced bone resorption. Though total syntheses of (-)-TAN-2483A and waol A have been achieved, the established methodology does not afford access to (-)-TAN-2483B owing to the unique relative configuration about the ring system. Derivatives of D-galactal have been synthesised, and functionalised at the C-1 and C-2 positions, laying the groundwork for a route to (-)-TAN-2483B and analogues. Using D-galactal derivatives is advantageous as it circumvents some difficult transformations in the existing method for analogue synthesis. The functionalities installed were halide and formyl groups at the C-2 position, and acetylenes at the C-1 position. The synthesis of 2-haloglycals from tri-O-acetyl-D-galactal using N-halosuccinimides was achieved in 32% and <37% for the bromo- and iodo- variants respectively. Vilsmeier-Haack formylation was explored using per-benzylated and per-acetylated galactals as substrates. Formylation of the per-benzylated species was achieved in 78% yield in accordance with literature values. Vilsmeier-Haack formylation on the per-acetylated galactal has not been reported and the glycal was found to be a poor substrate for the formylation. Theories regarding the incompatibility of the per-acetylated species with Vilsmeier-Haack conditions were developed. Ferrier-type alkynylation of the 2-halo/formylglycals was explored, with yields up to 17% and 13% for the bromo- and iodo- species (unoptimised), and 7% for 2-formylglycal (after optimisation studies). The resulting 1-ethynyl-2-formyl/halo-2,3-unsaturated pyrans could be potential intermediates en route to the furanone ring of the target compound.

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  • Uncertainty and Investment Choice in a Real-Options Model of the Firm

    Hobbs, Cameron (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A firm must consider many factors when adopting an investment policy including, but not limited to the size, scope, and cost of each investment, as well as the firm's financial condition. The multitude of considerations makes optimal decision-making much more complex than is indicated by standard real-option models of investment. This thesis investigates the behaviour of a cash-constrained firm that has access to two distinct investment opportunities. Such a firm must not only choose the timing of each investment, but often it must also choose between investments. When compared with similar one-project models of the past, the introduction of an additional investment opportunity alters the general results in a variety of ways. If one of the projects has a high yield, and therefore a quick payback period, this project can provide benefits over and above its NPV as the cash it generates relaxes future capital constraints for follow-up investment. When the firm is sufficiently constrained, this can lead to an investment policy where high-yield low-NPV projects are implemented instead of lower-yield higher-NPV projects, a direct deviation from the NPV rule. If one of the projects can raise a relatively large proportion of its value as collateral for investment, then the constrained firm will at times accelerate investment in this project in order to free up cash reserves for the other opportunity. In single-project models, when the firm is able to invest in a low NPV project, the value of additional cash is low. This is because the project will be delayed regardless of the level of cash. However, when the firm has a second investment opportunity, if one project has a low NPV and the other a high NPV then additional cash is beneficial to the firm. The two-project model also provides insights into how resources should be allocated if the constrained firm decides to split and operate the projects as separate firms. When cash is low, more resources should go to the spin-off with the high NPV project in order to give it the best chance of being initiated. However, when cash is high, disproportionately more resources should go to the spin-off with the lower NPV project as investment in the higher NPV project is likely to occur without the help of additional resources.

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  • Economic Policy Uncertainty And Corporate Cash Holdings

    Duong, Huu Nhan; Nguyen, Justin Hung; Nguyen, My; Rhee, S. Ghon (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    We find that economic policy uncertainty is positively related to cash holdings. This positive relation is attributed to financial constraints that emerge as a new and dominating channel through which policy uncertainty affects corporate financing policies. Neither a delay in investment nor a reduction of the disciplining effect from M&A activities explains this positive relation. Increasing cash holdings during the period of high policy uncertainty contributes to firm excess returns and mitigates the negative impact of policy uncertainty on investment.

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  • Governance of Tunnelling in Developing Countries: Evidence from Bangladesh

    Tareq, Mohammad; Houqe, Muhammad Nurul; van Zijl, Tony (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Tunnelling is a governance issue between controlling shareholders and minority shareholders in both developed and developing countries. However, most studies on tunnelling are in developed countries with the few exceptions of studies on China, India and Mexico. Using Oliver Williamson’s Market and Hierarchy model this paper analyses the suitability of the governance requirements on tunnelling in Bangladesh and reports on interviews with non-independent directors, independent directors, and audit committee members. The study thus identifies the limitations and factors that affect the implementation and effectiveness of the current governance requirements to constrain tunnelling in companies in Bangladesh.

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  • Punishment of Bribery and Corruption: Evidence from the Malaysian Judicial System

    Idrus, Muhammad Arif; Houqe, Muhammad Nurul; Bui, Binh; van Zijl, Tony (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    We investigate the judicial outcomes of crimes involving bribery and corruption in the context of the Malaysian judicial system. Using a sample of 1869 court cases over the period 2006 to 2013, we find that ‘white-collar’ workers, politically connected offenders, government employees, female offenders, indigenous Malaysians (Bumiputera) and private attorney offenders receive more lenient treatment compared to others. Evidence is also found that prior conviction of the offender and the seriousness of the offencee play significant roles in determining the fines and imprisonment of the offender. Moreover, young offenders receive harsher sentences compared to older offenders in terms of jail sentences but young offenders receive lower fines compared to older offender. We also find that more educated offenders receive more fines but fewer jail sentences. Our findings clearly suggest that not everybody is equal in the eyes of the Malaysian judicial system.

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  • Carbon Risk and Dividend Policy in an Imputation Tax Regime

    Nguyen, Justin Hung; Balachandran, Balasingham (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Australia ratified the Kyoto Protocol in December 2007, which mandates the country to reduce carbon emissions, thereby exogenously affecting firms in highest-emitting industries, or polluters. We examine the role of carbon risk in dividend policy and how this effect varies as between imputation (paying franked dividends) and classical (paying unfranked dividends) tax environments in the unique experimental setting in Australia. We find that the probability of paying dividend and dividend payout ratio are lower for polluters relative to non-polluters subsequent to the ratification. We further document that the post-Kyoto dividend reduction of polluters is driven by their relative increase in earnings uncertainty. However, the negative effect is weaker for firms that pay franked dividends than otherwise. The evidence suggests a causal influence of carbon risk on firm dividend policy, and highlights the significance of imputation tax environment on the impact of carbon risk on dividend policy

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  • Ngā wāhine kaha from Syria: The experience of former refugee women from Syria resettling in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Fitzgerald, Hawa Kusuma Setyawati (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines the experience of former refugee women from Syria resettling in Aotearoa New Zealand. It focuses on Syrian women who have resettled in the Wellington region and Dunedin - the two main areas to which Syrian refugees have been allocated. The study documented Syrian refugee women’s perspectives about resettlement satisfaction, their strengths and challenges, and their ideas for community development. The methodology and analysis for the study incorporated the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) to resettlement and the Mana Wahine framework. Through forty-five survey participants and three focus groups, the study found that the integration of wairua/spirituality, cultural identity, language and whanaungatanga/relationships in the family was very important for Syrian women’s resettlement in Aotearoa New Zealand. This study found gender roles between men and women strongly exist in the Syrian community. Many refugee women found their roles changed and lost the support they used to have from family members back home. Participants also expressed facing isolation resulting from cultural aspects. These show refugee women have bigger challenges to integration compared to their male counterparts, and that Syrian women have specific cultural rights related to their gender and religion. However, refugee resettlement services and community development were delivered the same way for men and women, and more types of supports are needed for refugee women.

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  • Building reuse and sustainable behaviours: Nurturing occupant behaviours towards a sustainable reuse of existing buildings

    Bartley, Georgia (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This proposition will address the identified problem of deteriorating built environments through designing a sustainable reinvigoration. This type of reinvigoration instils not only the value of sustainability in reuse, but is known to succeed when designs result in the ‘triple bottom line’ effect of increased social, economic, and environmental values (“Triple Bottom Line”, 2009). This proposition intends to explore a fourth bottom line. One to engage with people outside of the site, to extend beyond the prescribed boundaries and behaviours, and to go away with people within the mind of the beholder. To introduce the fourth bottom line is to address the psychology of sustainable practice surrounding the built environment. Integrating this principle will deliver a design response that aims to be sustainable, and regenerative in the teachings and demonstrations that can provide inception of sustainable practices within the wider society. This proposition will explore a discussion between two pre-existing enquiries; - sustainable reclamation of existing built environments - pro-environmental behaviour and sustainable psychologies The existing built environment along the western shore of Watts Peninsula, known as Shelly Bay, was home to the New Zealand Defence Force Base for over 125 years. Since its retirement from government use in 1995, its re-development has been setback by policy, a division of land tenure, and member approval from its governing body (Jackman, 2014). Since the retirement, the infrastructure and existing built environment have been progressively deteriorating. A sustainable reinvigoration of this site will succeed in savings of the existing culture, expenses and heritage while positioning an adapted environment that could be utilised by the wider society. Moreover, this proposal could be designed to inform sustainable psychology while achieving increased or realised social, economic, and environmental values. This design as research thesis will explore the existing site to determine contextual and psychological effects that are influencing the degradation of the environment. The identified problem(s) will then provide parameters for the designed reinvigoration and through an analysis of the pre-existing principles, a proposed design criterion will be applied to the designed concept.

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  • Designed Parameters: Advancing Parametric Software in the Architectural Design Process

    Le Comte, Thomas (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Architects use computers predominantly to digitise a design process that has been in use prior to the advent of the computer. Traditional analogue concepts are transferred into and sculpted through the digital world but the overall process has remained mostly unchanged for decades. Merely digitising a known process does not utilise the full power of the computer and its near limitless ability to compute. For an architect, design of the built environment is highly important especially if they are to optimise the physical, phenomenological and psychological aspects of the space. The process of designing an architectural space is riddled with possibilities or variables that architects have used historically to aid in the design of the built environment, including but not limited to: object relationships, climate, site conditions, history, habitibility and the clients input - all project requirements that must somehow be quantified into a built object. This information is key for an architect as it will inform and form the architecture which is to be designed for the project at hand. This information, however useful, is not easy to integrate into every aspect of the design without intensive planning, problem solving and an exploration of almost an infinite number of possibilities. This is where parametric design can be used to aid in the design. More of the fundamental aspects of the information gathered in a project can be programmed into a computer as parameters or relationships. Once this information has been quantified, the designer can run through iterations of a design which are defined by these parameters. This is not a random process. It is controlled by the designer and the outcome is a product of how the architect designs the parameters, or relationships between components of the design. Parametric design offers a shift from merely digitising design ideas to using programmed constraints derived through the design process to influence and augment the design envisioned by the architect. Parametric design allows the system to be changed holistically and updated through the alteration of individual components that will then impact the form of the design as a whole – creating a non-linear process that is connected throughout all design phases. This thesis seeks to explore parametric design through its implementation within a group design project to decipher how a parametric process grounded in an understanding of contemporary digital fabrication can inform architectural space. To explore parametric design, this thesis will practice this re-envisioned design process through three design phases. The first phase is the foundational knowledge stage where the applications of digital workflow, computer models, tools and material explorations are examined. Second is the production of a prototype to investigate lessons learnt from phase one and apply these lessons to an actual parametric system used to design a prototype. The final stage will be a developed design process that will further explore a parametric system and its architectural applications. These phases will be developed through a series of prototypes in the form of material explorations and scale artefacts which will explore how it would be used to address many of the designs facets from sensual to corporeal.

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