6,446 results for Scholarly text

  • Autonomously Learning About Meaningful Actions from Exploratory Behaviour

    Newton, Heidi (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The thesis addresses the problem of creating an autonomous agent that is able to learn about and use meaningful hand motor actions in a simulated world with realistic physics, in a similar way to human infants learning to control their hand. A recent thesis by Mugan presented one approach to this problem using qualitative representations, but suffered from several important limitations. This thesis presents an alternative design that breaks the learning problem down into several distinct learning tasks. It presents a new method for learning rules about actions based on the Apriori algorithm. It also presents a planner inspired by infants that can use these rules to solve a range of tasks. Experiments showed that the agent was able to learn meaningful rules and was then able to successfully use them to achieve a range of simple planning tasks.

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  • Non-probative Photos Promote the Truth of Positive Claims

    Cardwell, Brittany A. (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    People’s judgments are prone to the influence of feelings, even cognitive feelings such as the ease with which related information comes to mind (Alter & Oppenheimer, 2009; Schwarz & Clore, 2007). In 14 experiments, we¹ found evidence that non-probative photos — ones that relate to what people are evaluating, but that provide no relevant information for their task — produce cognitive feelings that lead people to evaluate claims more positively. In Part 1, we examined the extent to which photos promote the truth of positive and negative claims. People saw the names of several fictitious wines. Some wine names appeared with a photo that depicted the noun in the name; other wine names appeared without a photo. For each wine people decided whether a positive or a negative claim about it was true. Photos selectively promoted the truth of positive claims, did so most when they could help people comprehend wine names, and swayed people’s judgments about the taste of wines. In Part 2, we showed that those findings translated to when people judged claims about their own (and other people’s) experiences. People “interacted” with several unfamiliar animals (on a computer). Later, people saw the animal names again, sometimes with a photo of the animal and sometimes alone, and decided whether it was true that they (or other people) had positive or negative experiences with the animals. Photos selectively led people to think positive claims were true, and exerted their strongest effects when they could most help people bring related thoughts and images to mind². ¹ Although the research in this thesis is my own, I conducted it in a lab and supervised a team comprised of research assistants and honors students. I also received advice and direction from my supervisors. Therefore, I often use the word “we” in this thesis to reflect that fact. As you will also see, I use the word “we” in a different context to refer to what is known (or not known) in the wider scientific community. ² Portions of this thesis were adapted from: Cardwell, Newman, Garry, Mantonakis, & Beckett (manuscript under review). Photos that increase feelings of learning promote positive evaluations. Cardwell, Henkel, & Garry (manuscript in preparation). Non-probative photos lead people to believe positive claims about their recent pasts. But I have expanded on the introduction, results and discussion.

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  • Revenue-Maximising Tax Rates in Personal Income Taxation in the Presence of Consumption Taxes: A note

    Sanz-Sanz, José Félix (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This note computes revenue-maximising tax rates in personal income taxes in the presence of consumption taxes. It finds that the traditional Laffer analysis, which neglects the effects of marginal tax rates on consumption, overestimates the magnitude of revenue-maximising tax rates. The bias caused by this oversight is computed.

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  • An interpretative phenomenological analysis of 'being religious' in emerging adults within a tertiary education setting

    Dravitzki, Thomas (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research in the last 30 years has shown that young people have been increasingly turning away from religion during the period of emerging adulthood, despite the benefits that religious people experience. The present hermeneutic phenomenological study explored the meaning of young adults’ experiences of being religious in a New Zealand tertiary education setting. Phenomenological interviewing was used to capture the experiences of 10 religious students, including how they practise their religion and what they believe, with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of what being religious meant for them. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of the findings showed that being religious meant: having a relationship with God, being different to one’s secular peers, experiencing challenges, and that being religious was ultimately constructive. Many of the students experienced challenges to their religious beliefs and identities from fellow students, teachers and at an institutional level. The benefits of being religious outweighed the challenges and included: praying being therapeutic, religion providing support and helping define the students’ life purpose and identity. The implications of the study are discussed in relation to raising awareness about the importance of mutual respect, moving beyond religious tolerance to fully inclusive education and improving the integration of religious students in tertiary environments through curricular and co-curricular activities and programmes. Recommendations for future research include a greater focus on assessing the extent of the challenges religious tertiary students’ experience, and examining whether students of particular religious traditions experience unique challenges and benefits.

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  • Pay-for-performance in primary health care: A comparative study of health policymaking in England and New Zealand

    Smith, Verna May (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    England and New Zealand introduced pay-for-performance schemes in their primary health care systems, with incentives for general practitioners to achieve improved population-based health outcomes, between 2001 and 2007. These schemes were part of health reforms to change the relationship between the state and the medical profession, giving the state increased influence over the quality and allocation of publicly funded health care. Two schemes of differing size, scope and impact were implemented. This research takes a comparative approach to exploring each policymaking process, utilising quasi-natural experimental conditions in these two Westminster governing systems to test the relevance of Kingdon’s multi-theoretic Multiple Streams Framework and other theoretical approaches to explain policy variation and change. The research documented and analysed the agenda-setting, alternative selection and implementation phases in the two policymaking processes and identified the key drivers of policymaking in each case study. A qualitative methodology, based upon documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews with 26 decision-makers, leaders and participants, was used to develop the two case studies, providing rich descriptive details and rare insights into closed policymaking approaches as seen by the participants. From this case study evidence, themes were drawn out and reviewed for consistency with Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Framework as it has been interpreted and adapted by Zahariadis. The case study evidence and themes were considered in a framework of comparative analysis where patterns of similarity and difference were established. The utility of Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Framework in interpreting the case study evidence was assessed. This analysis demonstrated that Kingdon’s Framework, as interpreted by Zahariadis, had high descriptive power for both case studies but failed to predict the patterns of non-incremental change observed or the importance of institutional factors such as ownership and governance arrangements for public services, interest group structure and historical antecedents seen in the two policymaking processes. The research finds that the use of bargaining in England and not in New Zealand is the reason for major differences in speed, scope and outcomes of the two pay-for-performance schemes. Institutional structures in the general practice sub-system are therefore the primary driver of policy change and variation. These acted as enablers of non-incremental change in the English case study, providing incentives for actors individually and collectively to design and rapidly to implement a large-scale pay-for-performance scheme. The institutional features of the general practice sub-system in New Zealand acted as a constraint to the development of a large-scale scheme although non-incremental change was achieved. Phased approaches to implementation in New Zealand were necessary and slowed the delivery of outcomes from the scheme. With respect to other drivers of policy change and variation, the role of individual actors as policy and institutional entrepreneurs was important in facilitating policy design in each country, with different types of entrepreneurs with different skills being observed at different stages of the process. These entrepreneurs were appointed and working within the bureaucracy to the direction of decision-makers in both countries. England and New Zealand shared ideas about the benefits of New Public Management approaches to public policymaking, including support for pay-for-performance approaches, and there was a shared positive socio-economic climate for increased investment in health services. The research provides evidence that Westminster governing systems are capable of purposeful and orderly non-incremental health policy change and that Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Framework, which theorises policy formation in conditions of ambiguity, needs to be enhanced to improve its relevance for such jurisdictions. Recommendations for its enhancement are made.

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  • Relations between Modern Mathematics and Poetry: Czesław Miłosz; Zbigniew Herbert; Ion Barbu/Dan Barbilian

    Kempthorne, Loveday Jane Anastasia (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This doctoral thesis is an examination of the relationship between poetry and mathematics, centred on three twentieth-century case studies: the Polish poets Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004) and Zbigniew Herbert (1924-1998), and the Romanian mathematician and poet Dan Barbilian/Ion Barbu (1895-1961). Part One of the thesis is a review of current scholarly literature, divided into two chapters. The first chapter looks at the nature of mathematics, outlining its historical developments and describing some major mathematical concepts as they pertain to the later case studies. This entails a focus on non-Euclidean geometries, modern algebra, and the foundations of mathematics in Europe; the nature of mathematical truth and language; and the modern historical evolution of mathematical schools in Poland and Romania. The second chapter examines some existing attempts to bring together mathematics and poetry, drawing on literature and science as an academic field; the role of the imagination and invention in the languages of both poetics and mathematics; the interest in mathematics among certain Symbolist poets, notably Mallarmé; and the experimental work of the French groups of mathematicians and mathematician-poets, Bourbaki and Oulipo. The role of metaphor is examined in particular. Part Two of the thesis is the case studies. The first presents the ethical and moral stance of Czesław Miłosz, investigating his attitudes towards classical and later relativistic science, in the light of the Nazi occupation and the Marxist regimes in Poland, and how these are reflected in his poetry. The study of Zbigniew Herbert is structured around a wide selection of his poetic oeuvre, and identifying his treatment of evolving and increasingly more complex mathematical concepts. The third case study, on Dan Barbilian, who published his poetry under the name Ion Barbu, begins with an examination of the mathematical school at Göttingen in the 1920s, tracing the influence of Gauss, Riemann, Klein, Hilbert and Noether in Barbilian’s own mathematical work, particularly in the areas of metric spaces and axiomatic geometry. In the discussion, the critical analysis of the mathematician and linguist Solomon Marcus is examined. This study finishes with a close reading of seven of Barbu’s poems. The relationship of mathematics and poetry has rarely been studied as a coherent academic field, and the relevant scholarship is often disconnected. A feature of this thesis is that it brings together a wide range of scholarly literature and discussion. Although primarily in English, a considerable amount of the academic literature collated here is in French, Romanian, Polish and some German. The poems themselves are presented in the original Polish and Romanian with both published and working translations appended in the footnotes. In the case of the two Polish poets, one a Nobel laureate and the other a multiple prize-winning figure highly regarded in Poland, this thesis is unusual in its concentration on mathematics as a feature of the poetry which is otherwise much-admired for its politically-engaged and lyrical qualities. In the case of the Romanian, Dan Barbilian, he is widely known in Romania as a mathematician, and most particularly as the published poet Ion Barbu, yet his work is little studied outside that country, and indeed much of it is not yet translated into English. This thesis suggests at an array of both theoretical and specific starting points for examining the multi-stranded and intricate relationship between mathematics and poetry, pointing to a number of continuing avenues of further research.

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  • Local authority liability for flooding: Where should loss fall?

    Brennan, Sean (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Flooding is New Zealand’s most frequent natural hazard the cost of which is outdone only by the recent Canterbury earthquakes. Local authorities are the bodies primarily tasked with protecting communities against flooding through a range of measures including physical works such as stopbanks. This essay explores the extent to which a local authority can be liable in tort where those physical works fail, causing damage. Direct liability and non-delegable duties are discussed, the latter addressing whether a local authority can nevertheless be liable having outsourced the construction of flood works to independent contractors. Additionally, whether local authorities should be liable for such damage or whether individual property owners ought to protect their own interests through insurance is discussed.This essay recommends that property owners should purchase private insurance, but that local authorities should remain liable at least for their own negligence.

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  • "Get Your Gavel Out of My Pants": Replacing the Medical and Legal Scrutiny of Trans Bodies with Self-Identification as a Basis for Changing Sex Markers on Birth Certificates

    Blincoe, Emily (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Section 28 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995 allows people to apply to the Family Court to change the sex marker on their birth certificate. This essay argues that this provision is out-dated and does not serve the needs of the trans community. It is based on the medical model of sex, and requires medical evidence that the applicant’s body conforms sufficiently to that of the “nominated sex”. This essay suggests a reform based on the self-identification model, which exists in Argentina for birth certificates, and in New Zealand for passports and drivers’ licences. Such a reform of s 28 would bring birth certificates in line with these other documents, leading to more consistency and increased respect for the human rights of trans people.

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  • Isolating Madness: Photographs from Seacliff Lunatic Asylum, 1887-1907

    Laing, Elizabeth (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Frederic Truby King (1858-1938) is an eminent figure in New Zealand history. His name continues to flourish in contemporary society, due in part to its affiliation with the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society. However, the general populace is still relatively unaware of the time that King spent employed as the medical superintendent of Seacliff Lunatic Asylum, on the remote outskirts of Dunedin. The prevailing image of King during this period is of a single-minded physician, whose career was in a state of acceleration towards the establishment of Plunket. But historians like Barbara Brookes and Catherine Coleborne have rightly started to establish this epoch as significant in its own right. This thesis extends their work by engaging with previously unpublished casebook photographs of patients in King’s care, taken between 1887 and 1907, from the restricted Seacliff Lunatic Asylum archives. Through six case studies, this thesis draws connections between these photographs and the paradigms established by such internationally renowned photographers as Hugh W. Diamond and James Crichton-Browne. It then discusses some distinctive photographs that appear unique to this institutional environment, images that challenge our preconceived notions of psychiatric institutions and their functions. This visual history complicates, and sometimes even challenges, the argument about psychiatric institutions and disciplinary power proposed by Michel Foucault and John Tagg, by demonstrating the diverse forms of photography that can occur within a single institution. This study is part of a growing body of research on the Seacliff Lunatic Asylum archives. In using a largely untapped source of photographic history, this project will contribute to future research on similar topics.

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  • Relocating Tokelau: Recreating Island Villages in the Urban/Suburban Settings of New Zealand

    Huang, Henry (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Many Pacific Island communities face having to leave their homeland to other countries due to effects of climate change, extreme weather events, rising sea levels and the subsequent economic impacts. Tokelau, a country comprised of three small atolls in the South Pacific represents one of these effected communities. The extreme cultural shift from an incredibly isolated and densely populated environment where collective culture, elder governance and multigenerational living thrive, to New Zealand’s capitalist economy and individualistic family living has considerably challenged the traditional Tokelau way of living. The aim of the thesis is to develop a greater understanding of the role that architecture can play in facilitating; successful cultural relocation and preservation, and the strengthening of migrated community groups in foreign contexts. The thesis argues that the essence of a Tokelau village can be captured in the design of a Tokelau community centre in the suburban setting of New Zealand through; understanding and interpreting the culture and lifestyle of the Tokelau community in New Zealand through participatory design; designing hybrid Tokelau architecture which draws from traditional Tokelau construction, contemporary design and the built environment of New Zealand; embodying sociocultural Tokelau principles in design; and lastly, designing resilient community facilities for collective use that accommodate the cultural practices of the Tokelau community and the desires of all age and gender groups.

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  • Exploring the development of biological literacy in Tanzanian junior secondary school students

    Juma, Zawadi Richard (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Internationally, scientific literacy is a major goal of science education in the twenty first century. In Tanzania, where there is a widespread lack of public understanding about major health issues, biological literacy is needed so that people can make decisions about the socio-scientific issues that confront them. To that end, the Tanzanian school curriculum aims to connect students’ understandings of Biology to their everyday lives but few studies have been conducted that show whether these aims have been achieved, especially in junior secondary school. This ethnographic case study investigates the ways in which the junior secondary school Biology curriculum in Tanzania supports or constrains the development of biological literacy and how institutional context, particularly as it relates to urban and rural schools, influences the delivery of the Biology curriculum. Teachers’ and Year Four students’ of secondary schools views about school Biology were sought in the course of this study and the issues that emerged were analysed using social constructivist and social constructionist theoretical frameworks. Data were collected through student questionnaires, student focus group interviews, teacher interviews, and classroom observations. The research sites included rural and urban schools, and government and private schools. The findings suggest that the Biology curriculum and the ways it is delivered do not adequately address the students’ needs and therefore is unlikely to enable them to become biologically literate. Rural schools are less well equipped than urban schools to deliver the curriculum and teachers and students face bigger challenges. A key finding was that Tanzanian young people have a strong desire to learn more about reproductive Biology and health issues but these are not prioritised in the current curriculum. In light of these findings, curriculum changes are recommended to provide learning opportunities for students to gain biological knowledge and skills that are relevant to their daily lives.

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  • Family Language Policies of Refugees: Ethiopians and Colombians in New Zealand

    Revis, Melanie Sandra (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    There has been a surprising dearth of research on language maintenance and shift in New Zealand over the last decade. This thesis addresses this gap by examining incipient patterns of language maintenance and shift in families in two refugee communities in Wellington. Earlier research suggests that immigrants may maintain their ethnic languages in spite of societal factors pressuring language shift for up to three generations. By then, however, language shift is often completed, with the third generation using the majority language only (Fishman 1991). In a largely monolingual country such as New Zealand, this shift may be accomplished in only two generations (Holmes et al. 1993). Understanding the language dynamics at the micro level that eventually lead to language maintenance or shift requires more research into actual language use among family members than traditional methods provide. This investigation therefore uses ethnographic observations, semi-structured interviews and recordings of naturally-occurring interactions between mothers and their children to highlight the challenges involved in transmitting a minority language. Using Spolsky’s (2004) tripartite model of language policy, I investigate family language beliefs, practices, and management in the refugee-background Ethiopian and Colombian communities. The Amharic-speaking Ethiopian community consists mostly of first and second generation members. They first settled in New Zealand in the 1990s and now display awareness of the challenges of maintaining their language. Most Ethiopian parents consider it their responsibility to teach their children Amharic in the home and many have introduced explicit language policies to promote Amharic use. These families exhibit an ‘impact belief’ (De Houwer 1999) which links their positive beliefs about Amharic with their management of family language practices. Nevertheless, in some cases children subvert and contest explicit language management and become primary agents of language shift. Supporting the parents’ efforts, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church provides a social space where Amharic may be used backed by an explicit policy which requires all members to use the language when at church. This policy provides valuable institutional support and cultural capital for Amharic and contributes to the vitality of the language in Wellington. The Colombian community has had a relatively shorter stay in Wellington, with the first members arriving as recently as 2008. Colombian mothers want to transmit Spanish and many seem confident that their children will maintain the language. In particular, they consider the Colombian variety of Spanish to be a source of pride and a core value (Smolicz 1992), as many participants closely link this variety to their Colombian identity. They further capitalise on the prestige of Spanish as a world language that motivates them to use it even outside their ethnic community. However, few families have put in place explicit language policies to use Spanish in the home; instead, many regard it as a more urgent concern that their children learn English. Overall, despite the community members’ positive attitudes towards their ethnic languages, their efforts to transmit these languages appear to be constrained by the fact that English is invested with considerable cultural capital (Bourdieu 1977) in New Zealand. English acquisition often takes priority, particularly for many newly arrived Colombian families. The participants’ refugee experiences, length of residence in New Zealand and the societal status of their ethnic languages seem influential factors on the degree of control they assume over their children’s language practices. Families also dynamically adapt their language policies to the circumstances, for example by introducing an explicit minority language policy after their children have acquired what they consider to be enough English. Despite a strong desire for their children to continue speaking the ethnic language, the parents have many other (non-linguistic) responsibilities and they frequently lack knowledge about “success strategies” for minority language transmission. Moreover, the children often take significant agency by introducing English into the home domain, in some cases even influencing other family members to use it, and thus initiating language shift. The detailed interactional data in this research provides insight into the different ways parents have instantiated their varying language policies and negotiated home language choice with their children. In sum, this research provides insight into language transmission efforts at the family level, and, using data from observations, interviews and recordings of mother-child interaction, describes in detail the unfolding of language maintenance dynamics. The thesis presents valuable insight into the underlying beliefs about Amharic and Spanish, the role of explicit language management strategies, parental socialisation and discourse styles and children’s agency. As the first such research covering two recent refugee communities it will hopefully assist the individual families to socialise their children in a way that enables them to become proficient minority language speakers. This will ensure a linguistically rich future for New Zealand.

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  • A legacy of Lancashire: its chemists, biochemists and industrialists

    Halton, Brian (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Preface Although he probably does not remember it, it was Roy Jackson of Monash University in Melbourne and from Bacup in Lancashire who asked me if I was aware of the number of chemists coming from our mutual county. He then proceeded to rattle off the names of some for me. That was back in late 1988 when I was on leave at Monash, using the late Roger Brown’s pyrolysis equipment as we had none in Wellington. That snippet of information lay dormant in the grey matter for some 25 years, emerging only after I had agreed to write a series on Unremembered Chemists (as Peter Hodder, the then editor of Chemistry in New Zealand insisted the series be titled - after all if I knew of them then they were not forgotten) and selected the first few subjects. I found that several Lancastrian chemists were appropriate, remembered Roy’s comment, and decided to see just how many I could find. This booklet is the culmination of these efforts. Through the good graces of Chris Moody at Nottingham University, many living chemists who have distinguished themselves, but whom I had failed to recognise because it is many years since I left the UK, are now included. It is more than likely that there are others who should be here but are omitted, and to them I apologise. Apart from Roy and Chris, I am indebted to many of those whose details are included within these pages. Their willingness to provide information not easily available otherwise has made the writing and compiling of this ‘Legacy‘ so much the easier, and hopefully more interesting and useful. The free provision of images from numerous organisations, institutions and individuals is gratefully acknowledged for it puts the faces to the names. The pages that follow give the names of the chemists in sequence from William Henry (b. 1774) to the present with a profile of each that provides some indication of the person and the work for which they are recognised. It is not surprising, therefore, that early scientists attract a more detailed account than those still practising the profession and adding to the kudos that they already have gained. Brian Halton Wellington February 2015

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  • Population genetic structure of New Zealand blue cod (Parapercis colias) based on mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA markers

    Gebbie, Clare Louise (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Parapercis colias (blue cod) is an endemic temperate reef fish that supports an important commercial and recreational fishery in New Zealand. However, concerns have been raised about localized stock depletion, and multiple lines of evidence have suggested P. colias may form several biologically distinct populations within the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone. Mark and recapture studies along with otolith and stable isotope studies have indicated that individuals are sedentary with very limited movement beyond the scale of 10-20km. The primary goal of this research was to advance the current knowledge of P. colias population genetic structure. This information can be incorporated into stock assessment models with the aim of improving the management of the P. colias fishery. This study made use of 454 pyrosequencing technology to isolate and develop the first set of microsatellite DNA markers for P. colias. These seven microsatellite loci, along with mitochondrial control region sequences, were used to determine the levels of genetic variation and differentiation between sites around the New Zealand coastline, including the Chatham Islands. Significant differentiation was observed between the Chatham Islands and mainland New Zealand sample sites, indicating that these two regions form distinct populations. Interpretation of the results for the mainland sites was more complex. Mitochondrial sequence data detected no significant pairwise differentiation between mainland sites, although a pattern of isolation-by-distance was observed. However, evidence for genetic differentiation among mainland sites was weak based on the microsatellite DNA analysis. Although pairwise Gѕт levels were significant in some sites, this was not reflected in principal component analysis or Bayesian structure analysis. It is likely that through long range dispersal, migration is at or above the threshold for genetic connectivity, but below a level necessary for demographic connectivity. This is indicated by both the genetic structure reported here, along with previous studies showing limited dispersal of P. colias.

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  • Contextual factors affecting the development of digital library education in Vietnam

    Do, Van Hung (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In Vietnam the need for digital library education (DLE) has increased significantly in the last two decades. Educating staff to establish and manage digital libraries has become a critical issue. However, there are no DLE programmes offered by library and information management (LIM) education providers in Vietnam and we do not know why this is the case. The aim of this study is to investigate and understand the factors affecting the development of DLE for LIM practitioners in Vietnam. The interpretive study employed a qualitative approach and its findings are based on the analysis of data gathered in 17 individual interviews and 11 focus groups with key stakeholders, as well as from documentary evidence. The stakeholders involved in this study include LIM practitioners, LIM managers, LIM lecturers, library school deans, government policy makers, academic library directors, professional association chairpersons and LIM students. To guide the data gathering and analysis, an initial conceptual model of factors affecting DLE was developed from three sources: Fullan’s Educational Change theory, Nowlen’s Performance Model in continuing education for practitioners, and Rogers’s Diffusion of Innovations theory. The study found seven major factors were affecting the development of DLE in Vietnam: the government, the information technology infrastructure, the prevailing social and cultural values, the efforts of change agents, the attitudes of key stakeholders, the characteristics of DLE design, and the nexus of the educational needs of library staff and the libraries in which they were working. Of these the government factor was the most influential. These factors were inter-related and affected DLE development at different levels. The initial conceptual model was revised based on the study's findings. The revised model provides a contribution to educational change theories relevant to the identification and understanding of factors affecting professional educational programmes in universities in developing countries. The study’s findings are also of value to governments, libraries, library schools and library associations for developing relevant policies and new curricula for DLE, and for establishing new professional development programmes in DLE for library staff.

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  • Supporting the use of algorithmic design in architecture: An empirical study of reuse of design knowledge

    Globa, Anastasia (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis tests the reuse of design knowledge as a method to support learning and use of algorithmic design in architecture. The use of algorithmic design systems and programming environments offer architects immense opportunities, providing a powerful means to create geometries and allowing dynamic design exploration, but it can also impose substantial challenges. Architects often struggle with adopting algorithmic design methods (translating a design idea into an algorithm of actions), as well as with the implementation of programming languages, the latter often proving frustrating and creating barriers for both novice and advanced software users. The proposition explored in this thesis is that the reuse of design knowledge can improve architects’ ability to use algorithmic design systems, and reduce the barriers for using programming. This study explores and compares two approaches as a means of accessing and reusing existing design solutions. The first approach is the reuse of abstract algorithmic ‘Design Patterns’. The second is the reuse of algorithmic solutions from specific design cases (Case-Based Design). The research was set up as an experimental comparative study between three test groups: one group using Design Patterns, a second group using Case-Based Design, and the control group. A total of 126 designers participated in the study providing sufficient numbers within each group to permit rigorous studies of the statistical significance of the observed differences. Results of this study illustrate that the systematic inclusion of the Design Patterns approach to the learning strategy of programming in architecture and design, proves to be highly beneficial. The use of abstract solutions improves designers’ ability to overcome programming barriers, and helps architects to adopt algorithmic design methods. The use of Design Patterns also encourages design exploration and experimentation. The use of the Case-Based Design approach seems to be more effective after designers and architects, who are novices in programming, gain more experience with the tool. It encourages more focused reasoning, oriented to the realisation of a particular (originally intended) design outcome. The contribution of this research is to provide empirical evidence that the reuse of abstract and case-based algorithmic solutions can be very beneficial. Results of this study illustrate that both reuse methods can be strategically integrated into design education and architectural practice, supporting learning and use of algorithmic design systems in architecture. The study also identifies potential weaknesses of each approach, proposing areas which could be addressed by future studies.

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  • Public Streets for Multicultural Use: Exploring the Relationship between Cultural Background, Built Environment, and Social Behaviour

    Lesan, Maryam (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Public space is the domain of interest for urban planners and designers and the most important type of public space is streets. Public spaces, and particularly busy streets in urban centres, provide opportunities for people to meet, often by chance. As cities become increasingly multi-cultural in population the use and nature of public space reflects this. The best public spaces cater to the needs of all who use them and in multicultural societies this also means they must meet the expectations of people from different cultures. Many scholars have challenged the tendency for streets to be conceived of as movement channels, often at the expense of their use as social space. Streets have traditionally catered to a broad array of activities including walking, cycling and standing. Streets that facilitate such activities are preferred by the public. Streets in multicultural societies are also where people from different ethnic backgrounds find opportunities to interact. When public spaces are successful, they will increase opportunities to participate in communal activities. Spatial design is a critical success factor for streets; a goal for urban designers must be to create spaces where people from different social and cultural backgrounds value the public spaces they have access to. As cities become more multicultural the challenge is to design and manage spaces that appeal to the breadth of cultures that are represented in the population. Such public spaces are described in the literature as being more public. However, there is presently little information to help planners and designers to realise streets that appeal to people having different socio-cultural backgrounds. The research aims to identify those characteristics that will promote and maintain cultural diversity in the context of neighbourhood commercial streets in New Zealand’s multi-cultural society. The research is undertaken in two stages. “Stage One” makes use of ethnographic fieldwork as a basic method, complimented by structured field observations using a behavioural mapping procedure, and surveys of users of the streets. This stage provides data on specific streets and their usage through three case studies. Stage Two” utilises online surveys that generated data in relation to street visualizations. This stage seeks to understand what design characteristics and furniture arrangements are associated with stationary, social and gathering activities of people and to define design characteristics of footpath spaces preferred by each cultural group and all groups collectively. The main conclusion from this research is that retail activities remain the main concern of people in multi-cultural streets. Management and higher level planning of retail activities on the streets could encourage and motivate possible tenants in order to enrich the retail assortment of the street and provide a means for social and cultural diversity. In addition to business activities, spatial design characteristics are found to have an influence on people’s behaviour and activity. The findings of this research suggest that retail and business activities, together with the design and skilful management of the public areas, could support a broader range of static and social activities among people of various cultural backgrounds. The thesis makes recommendations for urban planners and designers based on the findings of the research.

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  • R v Mika: An investigation into the Court of Appeal’s neglect of s 27 of the Sentencing Act 2002

    Harland, Nina W. (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Court of Appeal in the case of R v Mika failed to engage with section 27 of the Sentencing Act 2002 in dismissing Mr Mika’s appeal against his sentence. In both the High Court and Court of Appeal the focus was on Mr Mika’s argument for a discount of 10 per cent to be applied to his sentence to reflect his Māori heritage and associated social disadvantages. Section 27 of the Sentencing Act would allow a court to take into account cultural information regarding Maori offenders’ backgrounds and the systemic disadvantages stemming from this. In dismissing Mika’s appeal, the Court erred in not considering the clear signals from Parliament that the judiciary were to take into account Maori offenders’ backgrounds at the sentencing stage through s 27 in an effort to fit appropriate sentences to Maori offenders. Recent developments in Canada have seen the Canadian judiciary recognise their role in the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the Canadian prison population. The New Zealand judiciary can take lessons from the willingness of the Canadian judiciary to take cultural information into account at sentencing.

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  • La Représentation du local, de l’universel et de la réalité dans Rue la Poudrière, Le Voile de Draupadi et Le Sari vert d’Ananda Devi

    Dausoa, Mukta (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This doctoral thesis, written in French and entitled « La Représentation du local, de l’universel et de la réalité dans Rue la Poudrière, Le Voile de Draupadi et Le Sari vert d’Ananda Devi », is an in-depth historico-sociological analysis of Mauritian writer Ananda Devi’s three novels published in 1988, 1993 and 2009 respectively. Having Mauritius as their background, these three novels introduce themes such as slavery, the trans-oceanic experience of Indian indentured labourers, prostitution, rape, domestic violence and homicide, through female protagonists in Rue la Poudrière and Le Voile de Draupadi, and a male protagonist in Le Sari vert. Existing research on Devi’s work concentrates mostly on the plight of women, who are victims of a Mauritian patriarchal society. Moving away from this approach, my research focuses on the spatial, historical and sociological dimensions in order to closely analyse the surroundings of the characters. The first focus of this research is to see whether these three novels exclusively allude to Mauritian society or also deal with universal concepts. The second focus is to determine the degree of realism of these three fictional works. Thus, the overall focus of this research is to scrutinise the degree of particularism, universalisation and realism in the geographical, historical and social dimensions of the novels. I begin with a brief presentation of Ananda Devi and her place in Mauritian literature. Then, I explain the objectives of the thesis and introduce my methodologies, which include the theories of Tzvetan Todorov and Jean-Marc Moura used to analyse the local and universal aspects, and the theories of Guy de Maupassant, Roland Barthes, Maureen Ramsden, Vincent Jouve, Michael Riffaterre, Mark Sainsbury, Névine El Nossery used to frame the examination of realism. Sociological theories of Emile Durkheim and Robert Merton are also elaborated, to support the analysis of the social dimension. In order to better scrutinise the historical dimension of the novels, I have used the work of Mauritian and international historians as well as Mauritian and international governmental reports. Khal Torabully’s notion of coolitude is also discussed to evaluate how different ethnic groups are represented in the novels. I have in addition coined the term “le rêve mauricien”, in relation to the social dimension of the novels. Finally, I conclude with issues of realism, the local, the universal and fiction.

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  • When the company causes harm: Effective corporate sentencing in a justice system based on individual fault

    Graham, Henry (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The imposition of corporate liability is problematic in terms of both conviction and sentencing. Once convicted, it is still difficult to effectively sanction a corporation, as the artificial nature of the entity means it cannot be imprisoned. This problem is illustrated by the Pike River disaster and the relevant corporation’s conviction for nine health and safety offences. In that case, the defendant was insolvent, so no effective financial penalty could be imposed. This paper will consider the range of sanctions that could be used to effectively punish a guilty corporate defendant. A starting point for corporate sentencing would be the imposition of a financial penalty (both reparation orders and fines). However, if the company is insolvent, this may be ineffective. There are several mechanisms which could be used to overcome the issue of insolvency, but the court should also consider various non-financial penalties and the imposition of sanctions against individuals. The court may be able to adequately punish a company if a variety of penalties is used.

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