326 results for Scholarly text, 2017

  • Opportunity and Uncertainty: Supervisors, examiners and graduates describe the Critical/Creative Nexus in practice in the Creative Writing PhD at the International Institute of Modern Letters (University of Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand)

    Jenner, Lynn (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In December 2014 I held six exploratory interviews with participants in the PhD programme at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand to explore the relationships between the critical and creative components of the PhD as understood by these particular individuals. The interviews show a range of opinions regarding the purpose of the critical component, its form, the assessment of the critical and creative components and the degree structure.My aim for this research was to create a feedback loop of information about the critical/creative nexus from people who are members of the IIML community of practice. I hoped also to collect and share practical ideas from graduates, supervisors and examiners on how to work through or with the tensions surrounding the critical/creative nexus. In line with that, the purpose of this report is to make the whole content of the six interviews available so that readers can investigate issues which might be of particular interest to them.

    View record details
  • Investigating the Effects of Oocytes on Proliferation Rate and Gene Expression of Mouse Ovarian Surface Epithelium-Derived Cancer Lines

    Armstrong, Gina (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The origin of the most common form of ovarian cancer (OC), epithelial OC (EOC), remains a contentious issue. Due to disease heterogeneity, EOC is unlikely to originate from a single progenitor. This research explores an alternative hypothesis for the origin of EOC. During ovarian development, granulosa cells (GC) recruited from the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) associate with oocytes. During follicular growth, oocyte-secreted growth factors (OSF) facilitate GC phenotype and function. Thus, if oocytes are lost prematurely from non-growing follicles, naïve GC remain. These cells, devoid of their germ cell regulator, may proliferate leading to neoplastic transformation and heterogeneous tumour phenotypes. This study aimed to elucidate the effects of OSF on (i) proliferation of, and (ii) candidate gene expression in, two mouse OSE-derived cancer cell lines, namely mOSE T2 (p53-/-/Akt/c-myc) and BR (p53-/-/Brca1-/-/Akt/c-myc). The OSF tested were oocyte-secreted media (OSM) containing rat OSF, as well recombinant (rec) porcine (p) BMP15 and pGDF9. Tritiated-thymidine uptake was used as a measure of cell proliferation and quantitative PCR was performed to measure gene expression levels of Cdh1 (epithelial marker), Foxl2 (granulosa cell marker), Dab2 and Muc16 (cancer markers). Exposure of mOSE T2 cells to OSM, but not rec pBMP15+pGDF9, resulted in decreased (P<0.02) in Muc16 mRNA levels was observed only in the T2 cell line incubated with OSM, but not rec pBMP15+pGDF9 and the BR cell line remained unaffected. Interestingly, Muc16 and Bmpr2 mRNA levels were lower overall in the mOSE BR, compared to the T2, cell line. In summary, both proliferation rate and expression levels of the tumourigenesis marker Muc16 were reduced in the mOSE T2 cell line after the addition of OSF. This supports the alternative hypothesis that proliferation of naïve OSE-derived GC is kept in check by OSF however, upon premature loss of oocytes or more specifically in the absence of OSF, these cells may proliferate and develop into EOC. Importantly, OSF were unable to suppress proliferation rate and Muc16 mRNA levels in cancer cells with a Brac1 mutation.

    View record details
  • Towards the Making of User Friendly Public Space in China: An Investigation of the Use and Spatial Patterns of Newly Developed Small and Medium-Sized Urban Public Squares in Guangzhou and Shenzhen

    Nguyen, Ngoc Minh (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis investigates how new small and medium-sized public squares are designed and used on a daily basis in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, two major cities in the Pearl River Delta, China. Given an extreme lack of open public space in these cities, these newly developed public space are expected to improve the life of millions of Chinese urban citizens; however, many of them are frequently criticised as inconvenient for users. How to improve the performance of these small and medium-sized public squares is therefore a critical issue faced by the city planners and designers. However, to dates, academic studies of public space in China are primarily focused on the architectural expression of the space or the development of the ‘public sphere’ in China. Hence, information about the actual use of small and medium-sized public squares in China is virtually absent. In order to fill this gap in knowledge on how these new public space are designed and used, this thesis examines 13 small and medium-sized public squares that have been (re)developed over the last 15 years in Guangzhou and Shenzhen using primarily the space syntax methodology, including direct (non-participant) observations and space syntax analysis techniques. The thesis focuses on the examination of three aspects: static occupancy and its relation to actual physical settings, transient use of the space and its relation to urban configuration, and the location preferences by Chinese users and the underlying visual logic. The findings from this thesis document a significantly different way of using public squares in China, as compared to their Western counterparts. Specifically, these spaces are used primarily by the elderly and organised activity groups. This collective way of using public space in China in combination with a wide range of cultural specific activities such as “exercising”, “babysitting”, “playing chess/cards” and “group-singing” has resulted in different spatial use patterns. In particular, this thesis has documented a strong preference for visually exposed locations, with much activity occurring at the centre rather than at the edges of public space, which are the most popular locations in public space in the West. Apart from providing valuable insights about the use and design patterns of small and medium-sized public squares, this research also proposes a number of spatial principles that could provide some guidance for designers and policy makers in the making of more user friendly public space in China in the future. Last but not least, findings of this thesis also hope to stimulate further studies of public space in China, especially those using Space Syntax methods.

    View record details
  • Joint culpability: The effects of medical marijuana laws on crime

    Chu, Yu-Wei Luke; Townsend, Wilbur (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Most U.S. states have passed medical marijuana laws. In this paper, we study the effects of these laws on violent and property crime. We first estimate models that control for city fixed effects and flexible city-specific time trends. To supplement this regression analysis we use the synthetic control method which can relax the parallel trend assumption and better account for heterogeneous policy effects. Both the regression analysis and the synthetic control method suggest no causal effects of medical marijuana laws on violent or property crime at the national level. We also find no strong effects within individual states, except for in California where the medical marijuana law reduced both violent and property crime by 20%.

    View record details
  • Late Quaternary vegetation and climate history reconstructed from palynology of marine cores off southwestern New Zealand

    Ryan, Matthew Thomas (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Little is known about how mid-latitude Southern Hemisphere terrestrial vegetation responded during glacial terminations and the warmer phases of the Late Quaternary, especially beyond the last glacial cycle where records are commonly fragmentary and poorly-dated. The timing, magnitude and sequence of environmental changes are investigated here for terminations (T) I, II and V and their subsequent warm interglacials of MIS 1, 5e and 11 by direct correlation of terrestrial palynomorphs (pollen and spores) and marine climate indicators in marine piston cores MD06-2990/2991 recovered from the East Tasman Sea, west of South Island, New Zealand. The climate there is strongly influenced by the prevailing mid-latitude westerly wind belt that generates significant amounts of orographic rainfall and the proximity of the ocean which moderates temperature variability. Chronological constraint for the cores is provided by δ¹⁸O stratigraphy, radiocarbon chronology and the identification of two widespread silicic tephra horizons (25.6 ka Kawakawa/Oruanui Tephra (KOT); ~345 ka Rangitawa Tephra (RtT)) sourced from the central North Island. Similar vegetation changes over the last two glacial cycles at MD06-2991 and in the adjacent nearby on land record of vegetation-climate change from Okarito Bog permit transfer of the well resolved Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) chronology to Okarito for the pre radiocarbon dated interval (~139-28 ka). Placing both sequences on a common age scale nonetheless assumes there is minimal lag between pollen production and final deposition on the seafloor. However, the timing of Late Pleistocene palynomorph events and KOT between independently dated marine and terrestrial sedimentary sequences are found in this study to be indistinguishable, which supports the direct transfer of terrestrially derived ages to the marine realm and vice versa. Vegetation change in southwestern New Zealand is of similar structure during T-I and T-II, despite different amplitudes of forcing (i.e., insolation rise, CO₂ concentrations). In a climate amelioration scenario, shrubland-grassland gave rise to dominantly podocarp-broadleaf forest taxa, with accompanying rises in mean annual air temperature (MAAT) estimated from Okarito pollen typically synchronous with nearby ocean temperatures. The T-II amelioration commenced after ~139 ka in response to increasing boreal summer insolation intensity, with prominent ocean-atmosphere warming over the period from ~133-130 ka. In contrast, northern mid-high latitude paleoclimate records display cooling over Heinrich Stadial 11 (~135-130 ka), and are prominently warm from ~130-128 ka, while southwestern New Zealand and the adjacent ocean displays cooling. Such millennial-scale climate asynchrony between the hemispheres is most likely a result of a systematic, but non-linear re-organisation of the ocean-atmosphere circulation system in response to orbital forcing. The subsequent MIS 5e climatic optimum in Westland was between ~128-123 ka, with maximum temperatures reconstructed in the ocean and atmosphere of 2.5°C and 1.5°C higher than present. Similarities revealed between land and sea pollen records in southwestern New Zealand over the last ~160 ka offer confidence for assessing vegetation and climate for older intervals, including T-V/MIS 11, for which no adjacent terrestrial equivalents currently exist. Vegetation change over T-V is similar to T-II and T-I, with southern warming antiphased with northern mid-high latitude cooling. Tall trees and the thermophilous shrub Ascarina lucida define interglacial conditions in the study region between ~428-396 ka. East Tasman Sea surface temperatures rose in two phases; 435-426 ka (MIS 12a-MIS 11e) and 417-407 ka (MIS 11c climatic optimum), reaching at least ~1.5-2°C warmer than present over the latter. Similarly, Ascarina lucida dominance over MIS 11c is akin to that displayed during the early Holocene climatic optimum (11.5-9 ka) in west-central North Island, where MAAT average ~3°C higher today. This contrasts markedly with the dominance of the tall tree conifer Dacrydium cupressinum for the Holocene (MIS 1) and last interglacial (MIS 5e) in southwestern New Zealand. Biogeographic barriers are proposed to have inhibited the migration of species from more northerly latitudes better adapted to warmer climatic conditions over MIS 5e and MIS 11.

    View record details
  • How can the Oculus Rift enrich the interactive storytelling experience?

    Ali, Mohsin (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The technology of today, such as the Oculus Rift, can provide immersion in ways that were unachievable in the past. The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that allows the user to see the three-dimensional world without the use of a traditional monitor. Unlike television, computer and mobile screens, a virtual reality headset digitally transports the user into the environment. Functionality such as depth tracking and rotational head tracking provides immersion unlike anything experienced to date. My interest is to investigate interactive storytelling in combination with the Oculus Rift, to determine if virtual reality headsets can enrich storytelling experiences. This will be achieved by developing an application where interactive storytelling is compatible with the Oculus Rift, and testing that application with participants. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn from the data collected by participants. Alongside the written thesis, a digital application will be produced in Unreal Engine 4 (Video game engine). The application will be an Oculus Rift driven experience, meaning that users can only experience it through an Oculus Rift. The application will have an interactive plot, which allows the user to influence the storyline. The design will be iterative and will be refined after each user testing session. The application hopes to strengthen the theories and concepts found in the written section of the thesis.

    View record details
  • Butoh: Granting Art Status to an Indefinable Form

    Caldwell, Shane (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Butoh is a kind of art, but exactly what kind of art is not so easy to see. While traditionally considered a type of dance, there are a number of butoh works that are not readily identifiable as dance works, if in fact they count as dance at all. Through the use of Noël Carroll’s narrative theory of art, I will show how butoh comes to be thought of as art even if it fails to match up exactly with any one pre-existing art form. I will show how the context in which butoh came into being is sufficient for granting butoh art status due to its relation to existing art forms. I compare butoh to its two most similar analogues, dance and performance art, and examine how it resembles and differs from each of them. I also show how the reason categorising butoh as only one kind of art form is problematic due to its being part of a non- Western aesthetic tradition that does not break the world up into such easily separable pieces.

    View record details
  • Orisa-Shakespeare: A study of Shakespeare Adaptations Inspired by the Yoruba Tradition

    Balogun, Olalekan Is’haq (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis combines creative practice with critical analysis to intervene in the field of post-colonial Shakespeare where, for over a generation, the process of adaptation has been presented as one of the main strategies by which Shakespeare’s ambiguous legacy in successor cultures can be both confronted and manipulated. Scholars often use the term “writing back” to designate a set of adaptations which challenge the cultural capital that Shakespeare privileges. By linking Yoruba spirituality in its political and cultural terms to the wider field of the relation between Africa, African writers and theatre makers and Shakespeare, the thesis proposes a new sub-field or genre of adaptations, “Orisa-Shakespeare,” rooted in Yoruba traditions. The thesis argues that, written in Nigeria and the Yoruba global diaspora, this set of adaptations are not necessarily challenging the Shakespeare canon but addressing their own societies, thus “writing forward.” The thesis examines the cultural and political significance of this bourgeoning body of adaptations of Shakespeare through the lens of Yoruba epistemology and its aesthetic principles. The thesis is broadly divided into two parts: an exegesis of selected adaptations of Shakespeare as case studies of post-colonial works that reflect and integrate Yoruba creative and performative idioms and translate them into dramaturgy; and an original play, Emi Caesar! in which core elements of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar are transplanted into the complex, violent world of Yoruba politics of the mid-19th century, as a parable for contemporary Nigeria politics where factionalism (specifically tribal/ethnic bigotry) works against the integrity and security of the society. In the context that the thesis proposes, the present has constant recourse to the past, especially the ancestors, and engages in rituals which create ongoing, living links between human beings and the realm of the Yoruba Gods (Orisa).The outcomes are the documentation of a uniquely Yoruba theory of literary creativity, a new play based on Julius Caesar, and an original contribution to the broad field of postcolonial (Shakespeare) adaptations scholarship.

    View record details
  • Early to middle Eocene calcareous nannofossils of the SW Pacific: Paleobiogeography and paleoclimate

    Shepherd, Claire Louise (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Earth’s climate underwent a long-term warming trend from the late Paleocene to early Eocene (~58–51 Ma), with global temperature reaching a sustained maximum during the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO; 53–50 Ma). Geochemical proxies indicate tropical or warm subtropical sea-surface temperature (SST) conditions in middle and high latitudes in the early Eocene, implying a very low latitudinal temperature gradient. This study investigates whether calcareous nannofossil assemblages in the southwest (SW) Pacific provide evidence of these conditions at middle latitudes in the early to middle Eocene, particularly during the EECO. Specifically, this study documents the biogeographic changes of warm- and cold-water nannofossil species along a paleolatitudinal transect through the EECO to track changes in water masses/ocean circulation at that time. Early to middle Eocene calcareous nannofossil assemblages were examined from four sites along a latitudinal transect in the SW Pacific, extending from Lord Howe Rise in the north to Campbell Plateau in the south and spanning a paleolatitude of ~46–54°S. All of the sections studied in this project span nannofossil zones NP10–16 (Martini, 1971). The data indicate up to three regional unconformities through the sections: at mid-Waipara, Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 207 and 277, part or all of Zone NP10 (lower Waipawan) is missing; at Sites 207 and 277 a possible hiatus occurs within NP12 (upper Waipawan–lower Mangaorapan); and at all sites part or all of Zone NP15 (lower Bortonian) is missing. Results of this study indicate that nannofossil assemblages in the SW Pacific are more similar to floras at temperate to polar sites rather than those at tropical/subtropical sites. However, variations in the relative abundance of key species in the SW Pacific are broadly consistent with the trends seen in the geochemical proxy records: an increase in warm-water taxa coincided with the EECO, corroborating geochemical evidence for a temperature maximum in the SW Pacific during this interval. The increase in the abundance and diversity of warm-water taxa and decrease in the abundance of cool-water taxa through the EECO supports previous suggestions that a warm-water mass (northward of the proto-Tasman Front) extended to ~55°S paleolatitude during this interval in response to enhanced poleward heat transport and intensification of the proto-East Australian Current. At the southernmost site, DSDP Site 277, a relatively short-lived influx of warm-water taxa at ~51 Ma suggests that warm waters expanded south at this time. However, greater diversity and abundance of warm-water taxa throughout the EECO at DSDP Site 207, suggests that the proto-East Australian Current exerted greater influence at this latitude for a longer duration than at Site 277. An increase in the abundance of cool-water taxa and decrease in diversity and abundance of warm-water taxa at all sites is recorded following the termination of the EECO. This corresponds with the contraction of the proto-Tasman Front due to weakened proto-East Australian Current flow and associated amplification of the proto-Ross Gyre. Previous estimates of SSTs from geochemical proxies in the SW Pacific during the EECO indicate that there was virtually no latitudinal temperature gradient and temperatures were tropical to subtropical (>20°C). However, nannofossil data from this study indicate warm temperate conditions (~15–20°C) during the EECO, suggesting that a reduced latitudinal gradient was maintained through this interval, which is in agreement with climate models.

    View record details
  • Women Album Makers from the Canterbury Region of New Zealand, 1890-1910, and Their Photographic Practices

    Hearnshaw, Victoria Annabel (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines the photograph albums created by fifteen women born during the reign of Queen Victoria living in the Canterbury region of New Zealand between the years 1890-1910. It will investigate how it was that these women, often working in close association with other members of their family, became involved in photography as an amateur recreational pastime. It will pursue this investigation within the conceptual and structural framework in which these women’s photographs were produced, collected or processed, and organized into albums, arguing that the making of such albums was as much a cultural and social practice as a representational one. Photograph albums are often considered to be generic objects. However this study will treat albums as distinctive and unique documents, comparable to other more-widely consulted primary sources such as letters and diaries. In particular, it will explore the capacity of the album to be a pictorial artefact that provides its own conditions for viewing images over time and space and contribute to a growing body of literature that insists that the photograph album is an important object of study within social history, and indeed within the history of photography in general. In drawing attention to the album making as a gendered pastime I am acknowledging the significance of this activity for women from within the upper and middle classes as a significant aspect of feminine cultural production at this period in our colonial history. As cameras became easier to operate towards the end of the nineteenth century these improvements saw women begin to take their own photographs, and also to print and distribute them within their extended families and beyond. This reflects the extent to which the practices of photography and album-making had become integrated practices by this date. Thus, the role of the album compiler working in the domestic sphere was effectively transformed from a passive consumer (collecting photographs) into an active producer of photographs. However, the extent to which the practice of photography was undertaken by women within colonial New Zealand is only now beginning to be realized. To date, the published evidence for this has been slight. This thesis endeavours to shed light on the contribution of these women working within the domestic sphere, but also those of their number who subsequently ventured to use this knowledge outside this limited sphere, and on their visual legacy at this formative period in New Zealand’s history.

    View record details
  • Why you should use high frequency data to test the impact of exchange rate on trade

    Shaar, Karam; Khaled, Mohammed (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This study suggests that testing the impact of exchange rate on trade should be done using high frequency data. Using different data frequencies for identical periods and specifications between the US and Canada, we show that low frequency data might suppress and distort the evidence of the impact of exchange rate on trade in the short-run and the long-run.

    View record details
  • International trade data quality index

    Shaar, Karam (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    When two countries report different values about trading with each other, the globally endemic phenomenon of trade data discrepancy arises. Substantial discrepancy in claims raises serious concerns about the quality of international trade data, which has profound implications on policymakers and researchers alike. In this paper, we construct an index which measures the level of consistency between each country’s reports on bilateral trade data and the corresponding data reported by the rest of the world. The index takes into account the relative significance of each trade partner and the level of data availability. The paper investigates 1,517,085 bilateral trade flows from 1962 to 2013 and concludes that: (a) malpractice is the main reason why some countries have lower data quality than others, (b) for most countries, trade data quality is in fact improving over time, (c) countries are generally more aware of the origin of their imports than they are aware of the destination of their exports. Our original findings have impacts on any study which utilizes trade data.

    View record details
  • Thresholds, Text Coverage, Vocabulary Size, and Reading Comprehension in Applied Linguistics

    Larson, Myq (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The inextricable link between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension is incontrovertible. However, questions remain regarding the nature of the interaction. One question which remains unresolved is whether there is an optimum text coverage, or ratio of known to unknown words in a text, such that any deleterious effects of the unknown words on reading comprehension are minimised. A related question is what vocabulary size would a reader need to have in order to achieve the optimum text coverage for a given text or class of texts. This thesis addresses these questions in three ways. First, a replication and expansion of a key study (Hu & Nation, 2000)1 was performed. In that study, 98% text coverage was found to be optimal for adequate reading comprehension of short fiction texts when reading for pleasure. To replicate that study, equivalent measures of reading comprehension were collected from a more homogeneous group of participants at a university in northern Thailand (n = 138), under stricter conditions and random assignment to one of three text coverage conditions, to verify the generalisability of the results. The original study was also expanded by measuring reader characteristics thought to contribute to reading comprehension, such as vocabulary size, l1 and l2 literacy, and reading attitudes, in an effort to improve the explainable reading comprehension variance. In order to more accurately calculate the text coverage a reader experiences for a particular text, both the vocabulary profile of the text and the vocabulary size of the reader must be known as precisely as possible. Therefore, to contribute to the question of vocabulary size, changes such as measuring item completion time and varying the order of item presentation were made to the VST (P. Nation & Beglar, 2007) to improve its sensitivity and accuracy. This may ultimately lead to increased precision when using text coverage to predict reading comprehension. Finally, l2 English vocabulary size norms were established to supplement the diagnostic usefulness of the VST. Data were collected through an online version of the VST created for this thesis from primarily self-selected participants (n 1:31 105) located in countries (n 100) around the world representing several l1 and age groups. Analysis of the data collected for this thesis suggest that text coverage explains much less reading comprehension variance than previously reported while vocabulary size may be a more powerful predictor. An internal replication of Hu and Nation (2000) found errors in the calculation of optimum text coverage and in the reported size of the effect on reading comprehension. A critical review of the theoretical foundations of the text coverage model of reading comprehension found serious flaws in construct operationalisation and research design. Due to these flaws, most research which has purported to measure the effect of text coverage on reading comprehension actually measured the effect of an intervening variable: readers’ vocabulary size. Vocabulary size norms derived from data collected through an online version of the VST appear to be reliable and representative. Varying item presentation order appears to increase test sensitivity. Despite a moderate effect for l1 English users, item completion time does not seem to account for any variance in vocabulary size scores for l2 English learners. Based on the finding that vocabulary size may explain both reading comprehension and text coverage, the putative power of text coverage to predict reading comprehension is challenged. However, an alternative measure which may offer greater power to predict reading comprehension, the VST, has been modified and made available online. This version of the VST may provide greater sensitivity and ease of use than the offline, paper-based version.

    View record details
  • The Interface of Copyright and Human Rights: Access to Copyright Works for the Visually Impaired

    Ayoubi, Lida (2017-03-03)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Reproduction of copyright protected material in formats that are accessible to the blind and visually impaired persons constitutes a copyright infringement unless there are specific limitations and exceptions in place. Most countries do not have copyright limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the visually impaired in their copyright laws. This has contributed to the issue of book famine, meaning the unsatisfactory access to copyright protected material for the blind and visually impaired. This thesis examines the claims of the visually impaired for improved access to copyright protected works in the context of the interface of human rights and intellectual property rights. This research demonstrates that insufficient access to copyright protected material is discriminatory against the visually impaired and negatively affects their human rights such as the right to education, information, health, employment, culture, and science. Moreover, the thesis analyses the international and domestic copyright law’s impact on the needs of the visually impaired. In analysing the international copyright law, the thesis evaluates the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities. Highlighting the insufficient consideration for the rights of the visually impaired in domestic and international copyright laws including the Marrakesh Treaty, the thesis proposes adoption of a human rights framework for copyright law to the extent that it affects the human rights of the visually impaired. Such framework requires copyright law to accommodate those human rights of the visually impaired that are dependent on access to copyright protected material. The thesis offers two categories of measures for creation of a human rights framework for copyright to the extent that it affects the human rights of the visually impaired. The measures include optimisation of already available options and adoption of new mechanisms. The first category discusses minimum mandatory copyright limitations and exceptions and the possibility to harmonise them. The second category covers extra measures such as clarifying the implications of different human rights and copyrights in the context of the book famine; ensuring compatibility of human rights and copyright when adopting policy and law; and, regular monitoring of the impact of copyright law on human rights.

    View record details
  • A Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise Lost? The Role of Preferences and Planning in Achieving Urban Sustainability in Wellington, New Zealand

    Dodge, Nadine (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis investigates the scope for compact development to accommodate population growth in Wellington, New Zealand. The topic is particularly significant for New Zealand as the great majority of the population lives in urban areas, historical development has been dominated by low density urban form, and transport and urban form are two of the main domains in which the country can reduce its carbon emissions. The influence of urban planning and residents’ preferences on achieving sustainable outcomes is investigated. Historical and current planning rules and transport policies in the City are analysed to determine their influence on the provision of compact development. Wellington’s transport policy shows a pattern of path dependency: historical decisions to favour car oriented investment have driven subsequent transport investments and influenced the ease of using different transport modes. Planning policies show a similar pattern of path dependency: planning rules enacted in the 1960s endure in present planning despite being packaged with different justifications and regulatory regime. Current planning rules severely restrict infill development in most existing neighbourhoods, which reduces the availability of housing in accessible medium density neighbourhoods and likely increases the cost of this type of housing. A stated choice survey was conducted of 454 residents of Wellington City to investigate the extent to which there is an unmet demand for compact development and alternatives to car travel. The survey held presentation mode constant across two completion modes (internet and door to door with tablet completion), allowing the impacts of recruitment and completion mode to be examined. Survey recruitment mode appeared to influence both response rates and the representativeness of the survey, while completion mode appeared to have little or no impact on survey responses. Using the stated choice survey results, a latent class model was developed to examine the preferences of residents and the trade-offs they are willing to make when choosing where to live. This type of model allows for the identification of preference groups as a means of understanding the diversity of preferences across the population. The study found that there is an unmet demand for medium density, accessible housing, but that affordability is a barrier for households to choose this type of housing. There was also an unmet demand for walking and cycling, with more residents currently driving than would prefer to use this mode, and more residents preferring to walk and cycle to work than currently use these modes. The ability to use a desired travel mode appears to be related to the neighbourhood in which a person lives, with residents of medium and high density neighbourhoods being more likely to use their preferred travel mode. This study also modelled future development trajectories for Wellington based on demand for housing, neighbourhood and transport attributes. This preference based growth model was contrasted with the City’s plan for development over the next 30 years. Comparing the two scenarios, the planning based trajectory performed better than the demand based scenario in terms of both carbon emissions and achieving compact development.

    View record details
  • The Environmental Regulation of Marine Carbon Capture and Storage in New Zealand: Principles, Barriers and Gaps

    Severinsen, Gregory (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis concerns the regulation of a technology called carbon capture and storage (CCS). The technology is one way to mitigate anthropogenic climate change, by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at point sources (such as power or industrial plants) and injecting them into deep underground geological formations. Specifically, the thesis looks at the framework of public environmental law that is needed for CCS in New Zealand where injection occurs offshore in its coastal marine area and exclusive economic zone. The thesis concludes that, when tested against existing principles in New Zealand's environmental law and the requirements of international law, current provisions in domestic law contain both significant barriers and gaps. These barriers must be removed and gaps must be filled. The thesis identifies three broad features of New Zealand's law that give rise to a range of barriers and that need to be addressed. First, there is substantial uncertainty as to how existing provisions would apply to CCS. Greater certainty is needed. Secondly, the classification of CCS as a form of marine dumping presents a significant barrier. The technology needs to be classified differently, and more positively. Thirdly, the law contains a general prohibition on considering the effects of activities on climate change. This may prevent CCS being deployed in practice, and needs to be reconsidered. New Zealand's existing law also contains three potential gaps, which must be filled. First, there is a dearth of CCS-specific regulatory and policy provisions within existing regimes such as the Resource Management Act 1991. This means operators and regulators would be operating in a regulatory and policy vacuum. Decisions may be inconsistent, fail to impose appropriate environmental standards, or fail to give appropriate weight to relevant considerations. Secondly, there are limitations in the ability of existing regimes to regulate the positive effects of activities – such as climate change mitigation - to ensure that they are actually achieved. Thirdly, existing law does not facilitate the kind of targeted and comparative decision-making process needed for CCS. This means that it does not provide an effective process for resolving tensions between competing resource interests in the sub-seabed.

    View record details
  • Negotiating multiple identities in educational contexts: Stories of Tamil Heritage Language Users as Multilingual Malaysians

    Sithraputhran, Thilegawathy (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Malaysia is a multilingual and multicultural society comprising of ethnic Malays (dominant group) followed by ethnic Chinese, Indians and other indigenous groups. The national language is Malay and English is the second language. Heritage languages such as Mandarin and Tamil are used as the language of instruction in some primary schools. This study explores how a group of Tamil Heritage Language Users from Tamil primary schools (THLU-Ts) at a private university recounted maneuvering through their multilingual world during their early lives at Tamil primary school, at state secondary school (Malay) and then at a private university (English). Nine first year undergraduate participants were selected from a private university in Malaysia where English is the medium of instruction. They were selected as THLU-Ts based on two criteria. Firstly, they were ethnic Tamils and secondly, they had completed six years of primary education at Tamil primary school. I used photovoice interviews to construct their narratives. The participants, prompted by photographs they brought as artefacts, described their language experiences in a multilingual setting. The participants’ voices were storied into narratives based on three narrative inquiry strategies of broadening, burrowing and restorying. Two in-depth interviews were conducted over a six month period and these were video-taped and transcribed. The interview transcript from each first interview contributed to a narrative summary or story. This was a general description of the participant and events (broadening stage). The second interview was held towards the end of the semester. During the second interview, participants were asked to reflect on their narrative summaries (which had been distributed earlier) and comment on them. I sought data to reexamine the existing data (burrowing stage) before rewriting a complete and coherent story (restorying) for each participant. This story was also individually reviewed by each participant. Data analysis was an iterative process that included storying and coding. I identified three broad themes and then examined them in the light of relevant literature. This analysis allowed me to understand how the THLU-Ts shaped their identities during social interactions with different linguistic communities in Malaysia, including THLU-Ms (ethnic Tamils from national primary schools) and non-Tamils (Malays and Chinese). Initially, THLU-Ts faced challenges as they transitioned to secondary school coming from a Tamil- medium primary school. At secondary school, they had to adjust to a Malay linguistic environment for the first time. As their proficiency in Malay grew, they felt they were accepted as authentic members of the academic community. When they entered the English-medium university, there was pressure to develop proficiency in English. They repositioned themselves once again and made deliberate language choices during social interaction with other linguistic communities. When the findings were viewed through Blommaert’s sociolinguistic scales, it was apparent that participants scaled languages depending on the value assigned to each one (Malay, English and Tamil). This reflected the way language was used in society. As powerful multilinguals who invested in a multilingual repertoire, participants displayed linguistic accommodation. These findings suggest a need for educators and policy makers to reassess the role and importance of HL education. Currently, the Malaysian education policy is silent on its commitment to HL education in Malaysia. Yet, this research supports the One Malaysia concept which stresses unity in diversity and encourages educational policies to take a pro-multilingual stance.

    View record details
  • You are not worth the risk: The ethics of statistical discrimination in organisational selection of applicants

    Scholes, Vanessa (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Your job application is rejected unseen because you ticked a box admitting you smoke. The employer screened out applicants who ticked the 'smoker' box, because she had read empirical studies that suggest smokers, as a group, are a higher productivity risk than non-smokers. What distinctive ethical concerns inhere in the organisational practice of discriminating against applicants on the basis of group risk statistics? I argue that risk-focussed statistical discrimination is morally undesirable due to the lack of respect for applicants as unique autonomous agents. However, I argue further that the decision-making context affects the morality of this discrimination. Other things being equal, the morality of statistical discrimination varies depending on the purpose of the organisation, the level of detail in the discrimination, and whether the discrimination is transparent to applicants and includes some benefit for applicants. Because organisations may have good reason to use risk-focussed statistical discrimination when assessing applicants, I present some recommendations for decision-makers to mitigate the lack of respect for applicants as individual agents. Organisational decision-makers can focus on the extent to which the statistical data they use comprise i) factors that feature efforts and achievements of the applicant; ii) dynamic rather than static factors; and iii) data drawn from the applicant’s own history and actions over time.

    View record details
  • Can a gut helminth parasite influence Th2 inflammatory responses in the skin?

    Meijlink, Kimberley Jayne (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Helminth parasites are one of the most common infectious agents of humans and cause significant health and economic burdens in the countries they are endemic in, making elimination an important goal. However, epidemiological studies have suggested an inverse correlation between the incidences of infections by helminth parasites in humans and autoimmune and allergic disease prevalence worldwide; it is thought the eradication of parasites in more affluent countries through improved hygiene is an important factor for the increasing incidence of autoimmune and allergic diseases encountered in the Western world. A Th2 immune response is central in providing immunity against helminth parasites, while suppressing T helper (Th) 1/Th17-mediated inflammation and inducing wound repair mechanisms. Helminths have developed strategies to directly regulate the immune response against them to ensure their own survival. Experimental evidence has demonstrated helminths are also able to dampen inflammatory bystander immune responses in their host, via induction of regulatory mechanisms such as regulatory T cells. These studies have focused primarily on the suppression of food and airway allergies in mouse models and there is limited data on the effect of helminth parasites on skin allergy e.g. atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic/chronically relapsing Th2 inflammatory skin condition, characterized by skin lesions, dry itchy skin and impaired skin barrier function. This is believed to allow the entrance of other allergens into the body more easily, leading to sensitization and initiation of other allergies later in life, a process termed the ‘Allergic March’. With the increased incidence of allergy in the Western world, it is desirable to find new therapies to suppress AD and the onset of the allergic march. During my Masters, I have investigated whether the gut-dwelling mouse parasite Heligmosomoides polygyrus was able to suppress Th2 responses induced in skin tissue using two different allergy models: 1) intradermal injection (ID) of whole mashed-up house dust mite (HDM), which induces Th2 inflammatory responses, and 2) topical application of the chemical hapten dibutyl phthalate-fluorescein isothiocyanate (DBP-FITC), mimicking allergic responses seen in AD. The results show that H. polygyrus induces interleukin (IL)-4 production in tissues distal to the gut, including the ear skin tissue, mainly from cluster of differentiation (CD) 4⁺ T cells. Furthermore, helminth infection was able to suppress Th2-mediated inflammation in the skin in both house dust mite and DBP-FITC models, coinciding with an increase in the proportions of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in skin-associated lymph nodes (LNs). This research further demonstrates the potential use of helminth parasites, or their products, as a therapy for allergic diseases, including those of the skin.

    View record details
  • Design foundations: Towards a model of style grammar in creative drawing

    Sweo, Jennie (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A style grammar is a principled rule set that governs the organization of very complex ideas. It allows for the examination of underlying structures which are often times obscured. Style grammars have been developed for many fields such as writing, fashion and architecture but to date there is no style grammar for creative drawing. The research identifies the necessary visual features and core traits associated with each feature towards developing such a model for creative drawings. Then operational measures are defined using the computer to extract and measure the core traits of those features towards developing a model of style grammar in drawing. These visual features include line, tone, and depth. Core traits include line length, line width, line expressiveness, local tone, global tone, texture, pattern, outline, shape, and position. A multidimensional scaling (MDS) using input from 27 subjects, 10 art experts and 17 novices, supported the overall list of visual features and added the dimension of smudge to the list. A second MDS sort discusses issues with images and large art categorical sorts from the standpoint of both human perception and machine measures that were obtained using feature extraction. It was concluded from the results of the second MDS that large art categories were too broad to be useful in evaluating measures to develop the model. Further analysis was run using only drawings from three artists, two impressionists to compare similarity and one expressionist for dissimilarity to determine if the machine measures of the core traits of the visual features were able to differentiate smaller groupings of consistent drawing styles. Using the computer allowed for systematic and objective procedures to be used to obtain measures. The multinomial logistic regression showed high significance for all the traits except marginal significance for line length and no significance for depth. Binomial logistic regressions run on each pair of artists showed high significance for all the traits except depth. The combined positive results of the first MDS card sort and the binomial and multinomial regression analysis provide proof of concept and offer strong support towards the development of a model of style grammar for creative drawings. Implications for teaching drawing using the identified visual features and core traits are offered. The outcomes and analysis provided in this research currently support a general practice rule in design reuse and intelligent borrowing that suggests first smudge, then depth, then tone, and then line quality are the most significant elements to use for style comparison. Discussions for future research including improved measures and other types of perception testing are provided towards further development of the model.

    View record details