14,002 results for Masters

  • Economic policy in New Zealand 1936-1939

    Oxnan, D. W. (1941)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The aim of this survey is twofold. First, it attempts to describe and analyse the more important aspects of the Labour Government’s economic policy, and second, it attempts to demonstrate how the achievement of this policy is conditioned by the characteristics of the New Zealand economy. The economic policy of the Labour Government is important for several reasons. First, both the “recovery measures” of the previous Government during the depression, and Labour’s policy after the depression tend to show that New Zealand, in common with other countries, is experiencing a definite trend towards an extension of State control of economic life. Secondly, since the 1890’s the Dominion has indulged in economic and social experiments which have attracted the attention of economists not only in New Zealand but also abroad. The economic and social policy of the Labour Government thus appears to be an acceleration of this long term trend. In addition it is generally recognised that conditions in New Zealand are more favourable to economic experimentation than those existing in most other countries. In examining this policy it is of fundamental importance to realise that the Ottawa Agreements of 1932, mark the end of an era when New Zealand could confidently rely on a large and expanding overseas market for her exports. Moreover the rise of economic rationalism, the progress of agrarian protectionism, the developments in the alternative sources of supply and the declining rate of growth of population in the consuming countries, all have forcibly demonstrated the inherent weakness of the New Zealand economy. Consequently the post depression years have witnessed a conscious expansion of New Zealand’s secondary industries. Although the social and economic policy of the Labour Government is in many respects similar to that of the Liberal Administration of Balance and Seddon in the early ‘nineties’ of last century, it has certainly been carried out under far less favourable circumstances. It is mainly for these reasons that this subject provides a fruitful field for economic research. To cover the whole of the policy in detail and would be beyond the limits of a brief survey of this nature. It would be possible to write a detailed survey on any one aspect of the policy. Nevertheless, it is felt that a broad treatment of policy is not entirely unfruitful. On the contrary a wide survey has much to commend it, for a detailed analysis of one aspect only tends to lose sight of the nature of the policy as a whole. Thus the first two chapters are devoted to an analysis of the Labour Government’s Programme and the economic factors limiting the achievement of this programme. The remaining chapters are concerned with the development of policy. Separate chapters deal in turn with Monetary Policy, Marketing, Transport, Rationalisation of Industry, Import and Exchange Control, and Labour and Social Legislation. In a concluding chapter, the threads are drawn together and an evaluation of the policy attempted. It should be noted that the period under review extends from 1936 to 1939 inclusive. It does not deal with the policy after the outbreak of war in September 1939, because this has created new problems and has thus modified to a certain extent the direction of Government policy. At the outset, originality is disclaimed. Much has already been written on particular aspects of policy, but little if any, on the policy as a whole. The material has been collected from all available relevant literature, consisting of numerous pamphlets, periodicals, articles and officials publications. A detailed account of references is given in the bibliography. Finally it is not proposed to reveal anything which is not already known to competent economists. This survey merely aims to make a comprehensive and critical analysis of the economic policy followed by the Labour Government in the years 1936-39.

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  • The failure of corporate failure models to classify and predict : aspects and refinements

    Alexander, P. B. (1991)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Much has been written about the use of multiple discriminant analysis in corporate distress classification and forecasting. Classification and prediction models are notoriously difficult to establish in such a way that they will stand the ultimate test of time. Many articles severely criticise the use of the technique yet there are aspects which may improve our ability to develop satisfactory models. We are probably yet a long way off from being able to do so with any great degree of satisfaction, yet it behoves us to try to develop models that do justice to the assumptions and the theory. This thesis explores several important aspects of the model-building process and concludes that some of the more conventional criticisms of the models developed so far are less important than claimed. It suggests that more critical than the failure to meet the conditions of multivariate normality, the equality of the variance-covariance matrices, and the use of a priori probabilities are the need for: a satisfactory model specification that can be theoretically justified, the strict use of random sampling, the efficient use of sample data, the search for stable mean vectors which are significantly different from each other, and ex ante validation. If these requirements are met then the MDA technique is robust enough to cope with breaches of the assumptions.

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  • The survival of things

    Coveny, Eloise Jayne

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    How might a sonic archiving installation practice produce conditions of history other to orthodox narratives of time? What might a Benjaminian “destructive character” today make of analogue and digital archives for producing uncanny encounters within chips of messianic time? The above dialectical image maps out my research site. At my crossroads stands History proper and historical ambiguity—spoken as ‘I’, my site inscribes difference in archiving things from Victoriana inspired moments, filtered through a girl from Auckland, New Zealand circa 1980s and 1990s (culminating most poignantly in 1994). My installation practice evokes particularly voices materialised through sonic forces aided through photographic, filmic, and recording apparatuses and their representational modalities. These sonic forces material my artistic research practice as a historic figure existing within me as an artist-researcher figuring out (my) different narratives. I employ myself here as a type of destructive (Benjaminian) figure, making radical sonic interventions as historic otherness appear to me to bring to ‘light’ Walter Benjamin’s conceptual historic materialism of time as: the true picture of the past; time at a standstill; moment of danger; ambiguity; dialectical image that is pregnant with tensions; uncanny limits to ourselves. I unpack these radical expressions of time and history—that are marked out above in my dialectical image; my site of research—through the following exegesis. I figure my practice (my self) dangerously between the dominance of orthodox archiving narratives to specify an acute ‘familiar’ moment—say 1994 (1994: Time-space encounters between digital forces and analogue ghosts). I read my project as the dialectical image above and hope that one can better understand this site increasingly throughout the reading of this exegesis. This understanding of time at a [dialectical] standstill is taken from the philosopher Walter Benjamin. This time of arrest is counter to linear time that is often posed as the dominant voice throughout historicism [discourses] (i.e. writing history) that marginalises other voices and other experiences. My practice works within this site of investigation to privilege lost voices that explore a longing for historic authenticity—where the location of authenticity lies in its alterity, in what is distant to the present time and space. Benjamin practices [destructive] lyrical configuration through the modern allegory, which I here explore through my practice in the form of anachronistic spatial configuration (installation) as a method for [sonic] archiving. The anachronistic structuring of my installation tests activate dialectical tensions that speak to us of the hidden voices repressed by the orthodox structure of things; through juxtaposing and rupturing orthodox histories via my relations to things in the world. This has become in part an autobiographical tenor that lyrically composes my exegesis and installation as a methodology. It does this bearing in mind the viewer’s independence, where my own autos is largely heterogeneously fractured into the archival installation final exhibition aiming for uncanny registers that can only be designed by the ‘hand’ of weak messianic power (Benjamin). My sonic forces mapping out the research aims of this installation archiving practice are inspired primarily by the work of Walter Benjamin's concept of Messianic time in relation to historical materialism. My artistic research has focused in on relations of voices through time; voices that have spoken to me throughout (auto)biographical encounters with artefacts; things that continue to return and inhabit me more so than I realise. These things are speaking to me now, here; at a crux moment of a self-splitting between some fantasy autos of my biography, and yet they are shot through with the voices of those philosophers I am engaging and their autos. In this sense, my artistic material and precedence gather around the literary, poetic, and mystical voices of others (people, antiques, commodities, spaces, places, photographs, films and other textual forms of archival material). The images that make up my work emerge from the imagination, now brought to the fore through these textual methodological encounters that inspire my way through. In this sense, my practice appears on the surface to be voiding the proper of art historical practitioner precedence, and yet in this way I have followed an authentic (unorthodox) path that is akin to the destructive character Benjamin evokes. The images of others sit below this surface only to rise uncannily in the strange present that this time evokes. The concept of the uncanny, guided by voices of Martin Heidegger, Sigmund Freud and Walter Benjamin, open up my mystical moments for installing such an encounter of strange time as a survival of things.

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  • Mao's cult as an alternative modernity in China.

    Yu, Li (Lydia) (2011)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    As a consequence of the pervasiveness of traditional culture, Mao’s cult originated from the absolutely anti-religious environment during the early period of modern China. As a response to the modernization in today’s China, Mao’s cult has became a new tradition and evolved into a modern mode of Chinese popular religion, as well as non-religious patriotism, the legitimacy of the CCP, and Chinese national cohesion. That is to say, the tradition itself was created in the context of modernity, and both tradition and modernity possess only a kind of relative connotation. Therefore, the revival of Mao’s cult in today’s China, in the religious form or non-religious form, manifests the traditional Chinese culture persisting in the modern development of China, and thereby constructs a unique Chinese model of modern development --- an alternative modernity in other words. Therefore the western model might not the best choice for non-Western societies. It is impossible for non-western countries to either abandon their traditional culture to develop a whole new modernity, or to develop a homogenous modernity in accordance with western standards. Furthermore, there is no point arguing the superiority of the western model of development, by comparing western modernity with non-western modernity. Alternative modernities will become important phenomena in our developing world.

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  • Te reo o te ākonga me ngā whakapono o te kaiako : Student voice and teachers’ beliefs

    Ellison, Bruce (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The beliefs that teachers have about teaching and learning have an influence on the practices that teachers implement. This is particularly relevant, although not exclusively, to teaching practices that meet the needs of Māori students in our bicultural learning environments of New Zealand. There is a growing amount of research to support the use of student voice data, the benefits of which can be seen at a school level, at the classroom teacher level as well as for the individual students themselves. This research project focused on exploring the impact of students sharing their thoughts and opinions about their learning, (i.e.: student voice data) on influencing teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning. In doing so it explores effective facilitation of this process in a bicultural learning environment. In particular it investigates the potential of a combination of specific tools, notably student focus groups and coaching conversations with teachers to influence teachers’ beliefs. This study took place in two low decile schools in Christchurch. It involved focus groups of Māori and non-Māori primary-aged students, alongside teacher reflective interviews being conducted on repeated visits. Its findings identified approaches for accessing authentic student voice in a bicultural learning environment. The thoughts and opinions shared by Māori students highlighted a focus on their own learning as well as celebrating their culture. Teachers reacted to student voice by making connections to their classroom programmes, and by accepting or dismissing more provocative statements. These reactions by teachers helped emphasize the most helpful methods for reflecting on this data. Their reflections, used alongside a specially designed ‘Teacher Belief Gathering Tool’, ascertained that teachers’ beliefs were both reaffirmed and changed through guided reflection and coaching conversations on student voice data. Teachers’ knowledge of effective teaching and learning, their motivation for changing their teaching practices, as well as witnessing success were all considerable factors in teachers changing their beliefs.

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  • Stress : strain relationships for confined concrete : rectangular sections

    Scott, Bryan D. (1980)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    An experimental investigation into the behaviour of square, confined, reinforced concrete columns was undertaken. Thirty 450 mm square, 1200 mm high units were cast with varying amounts of longitudinal and lateral steel. These were subjected to concentric or eccentric axial loads to failure at slow or dynamic loading rates. Confinement requirements of reinforced concrete columns are discussed and the results and analyses of experimental work presented. Results include an assessment of the significance of loading rate, eccentricity, amount and distribution of longitudinal steel, and the amount of confining steel. A general stress-strain curve for rectangular concrete sections loaded at seismic rates is proposed and compared with existing curves based on previous static loading tests.

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  • A Study on the Usability of Hand-Held and Wearable Head-Mounted Displays in Clinical Ward Rounds.

    Yakubu, Muhammad Nda (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    In this thesis research, we investigate the usability of hand-held display (Tablet PC) and wearable head-mounted display (Google Glass) interfaces and their effect on doctor-patient interaction during clinical ward round in the hospital. We looked at existing literature to identify existing research about our topic. Using a User Centered Interaction Design process we developed a prototype hybrid system that used both a hand-held and head-mounted display. An evaluation of this prototype with a hand-held system and a paper based interface was performed in a simulated patient room with 20 doctors and 5 patients. The participants were observed, surveyed, and interviewed about their experiences. Generally, the patients had a high satisfaction rate and felt the interfaces were not causing the doctors to lose focus on them. The doctors found the hand-held display by itself and existing paper-based interface to be the most usable and least distracting interfaces for accessing patient information during clinical ward rounds.

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  • Visualising the Invisible: Displaying Building Resource-use Benchmarks in a 3D City Visualisation

    Hills, Alex Josephine (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis proposes a reinvention of the means of presenting statistical data about 3D urban environments. Conventional GIS use of 3D ’enhances’ hard to understand 2D maps with even harder-to-understand histograms of data. The goal is to demonstrate the means by which data on energy and water-use in buildings can be used to enhance familiar 3D interactive city environments and be made accessible to the widest possible audience. Ultimately, resource benchmarks and other related publicly available information about the built environment could be presented in this highly accessible form. All information would be database driven, so automatically updateable. From this basic platform, applications that allow people to compare their own private records with public norms are easily constructed: a world where a building owner can compare their energy records with benchmarks for similar buildings and take action to improve if necessary, or to advertise accomplishments. This study draws on data from the ‘BEES’ Building Energy End-use Study - a BRANZ research project documenting energy and water use in New Zealand commercial buildings. During the study a ‘Websearch’ survey was conducted, building a detailed picture of non-residential building stock in New Zealand with data collected on building typologies, characteristics and surroundings. A thorough research methodology was developed to ensure that high level data could be collected from 3,000 randomly selected buildings within the budget allocated for the project. The data was examined for quality, building characteristics and typology mix and a valuable layer of detail was added by inferring additional information from the basic Websearch dataset. Where sub-samples used in the BEES study were subject to refusal / survey participation rates, the level of potential bias in the mix of building typologies could be tested and allowances made. Energy and water use data collected for a random subset of the sample, could then be applied as benchmarks to the census of New Zealand commercial buildings. In order to trial the communication of the benchmark results to the widest possible audience, an automated 3D city visualisation ‘pilot’ was generated of the Wellington Central Business District and a number of graphic tools were brought together to make the information publicly accessible and as useful as possible. The overall aim was to test the feasibility of applying this technique at a national level. The research revealed three major recommendations: firstly, a national unique building identifier is required to ensure the accuracy of national building data and enable statistical results about the built environment to be accurately and reliably applied to real buildings; secondly, resource use data in 3D format is urgently required to improve the value of sustainable properties; lastly, creating a significant impact on building stock efficiency will depend upon the engagement of a wider audience. Developed further, this visualisation will enable construction professionals, building owners, developers and tenants to understand the built environment and implications of building design and typology on energy and water use.

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  • Traumatic Bonding and Intimate Partner Violence

    George, Vera (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Intimate partner violence is a pervasive and highly detrimental phenomenon. One common aspect of abusive relationships is a reluctance to leave one’s partner. With this in mind, the current study explored the role of Stockholm syndrome in abusive relationships. Study 1 and 2 surveyed 508 diverse adults. Study 1 submitted the Stockholm syndrome scale to psychometric testing and confirmed a 3-factor solution for the scale. The three components are Core, justifying an abuser through cognitive distortions; Damage, ongoing psychological effects of abuse; and Love, the belief that one’s survival depends on the love of an abuser. Study 2 tested the predictive qualities of the scale and found that its components are linked to relationship violence in a predictable fashion. These links may be moderated by insecure attachment. Study 3 analysed dyadic data from 86 couples and found positive associations between levels of Core and relationship violence, both within and across partners. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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  • Politicians Gone Wild: A Comparative Analysis of Political Scandals in New Zealand, The United States and France

    Argyle, Elizabeth (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The place of political scandals in the academic literature is contentious; scandals are commonly dismissed as distractions from the ‘real issues’ in a society. This thesis challenges that notion, instead arguing that political scandals are an important phenomenon in functioning democracies. Through a comparative lens, political transgressions since the year 2000 that have occurred in three liberal democracies, New Zealand, the United States and France, have been analysed. Transgressions by political actors in these jurisdictions of a sexual, financial and power nature have been applied to previously established frameworks. Observations about the political culture of these countries have been made as a result of this analysis. Four existing theories on the significance of political scandal – the functionalist theory of scandal, the no consequence theory, the trivialisation theory and social theory – were also tested. The social theory of scandal is concluded to be the most applicable to the case studies assessed. The social theory of scandal argues that political scandals can foster cultures of debate and criticism which is important to functioning democracies; however, political scandals of a large magnitude or high frequency can damage the public’s perception of political actors and institutions. This analysis therefore serves as evidence that political scandals are not frivolous occurrences but instead are important indicators of societal values and can have important and lasting consequences. This thesis also considers political scandals in broader historical and cultural contexts, drawing attention to the pervasiveness of scandal as a topic of academic and public interest.

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  • Carl Zeus

    Youngkong, Nattapon

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This project Carl Zeus (working title) investigates the German Expressionist film movement as an inspiration and a platform from which to develop a contemporary film project. The research focuses on the unique cinematographic and production techniques employed by the filmmakers of this movement. It explores the potential communicability of these cinematic devices. The movement (begun in 1919) emerged from the unique historical circumstances of post-World War One Germany. The works were primarily concerned with the country’s universally destabilized psyche and trauma that prevailed in German society after the war. The project questions the value of these cinematic devices in communicating contemporary issues and the experience of living in the present time. I next explore how to deploy an expressionist mode of cinema into a short film project. To negotiate this question, I produce a short film that deploys the Expressionist mode of cinema through the script, cinematography and mise-en-scene as a method of inquiry.

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  • The Photochemistry of Organic Materials for Photonic Devices

    Middleton, Ayla Penelope (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Optically active organic chromophores have attracted much interest in recent years for their potential for use in photonic devices. Chromophores such as compound (1) have been found to have a very high second order nonlinear susceptibility ( β ) value of 650 × 10⁻³⁰esu in dimethyl formamide.¹ The performance of 1 in a polymer film is much lower than this due to the formation of aggregates which hinder the poling process necessary to ensure a noncentrosymmetric arrangement of the molecules in order to display second order nonlinear behaviour. The molecular aggregation behaviour of a set of second order nonlinear compounds based on compound 1 have been studied in this thesis. These compounds share the backbone shown in figure 1 with pendant groups added to the R₁ R₂ and R₃ positions, with the aim of finding substituent groups that can be added to the optically active merocyanine backbone that reduce the aggregation and increase the solubility of the compounds. This in turn will make them more suitable for use in photonics devices. It was found that a C₁₁H₂₃ alkyl chain added to the R₃ position made the largest contribution to decreasing aggregation. Bulky groups on the R₁ and R₂ positions also reduced aggregation. As a result compounds 5 and 8, with R₃ = C₁₁H₂₃ and bulky groups attached displayed the least aggregation of the compounds studied. ¹ See Figure 1 (pg. i): Merocyanine backbone with substituent positions marked.

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  • Stratigraphy, facies architecture and emplacement history of the c. 3.6 ka B.P. Ngatoro Formation on the eastern flanks of Egmont Volcano, western North Island, New Zealand

    Dixon, Benjamin John (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Ngatoro Formation is an extensive volcaniclastic deposit distributed on the eastern lower flanks of Egmont Volcano, central North Island, New Zealand. Formally identified by Neall (1979) this deposit was initially attributed to an Egmont sourced water-supported mass flow event c. 3, 600 ¹⁴C years B.P. The Ngatoro Formation was subsequently described by Alloway (1989) as a single debris flow deposit closely associated with the deposition of the underlying Inglewood Tephra (c. 3,600 ¹⁴C yrs B.P) that had laterally transformed into a hyperconcentrated- to- flood flow deposit. Such water-supported mass flows have been well documented on volcanoes both within New Zealand (i.e. Mt Ruapehu) and elsewhere around the world (i.e. Mt Merapi, Central Java and Mt St Helens, Washington). This thesis comprises field mapping, stratigraphic descriptions, field and laboratory grain size and shape analysis, tephrochronology and palaeomagnetic analysis with the aim of refining the stratigraphy, facies architecture and emplacement history of the c. 3,600 ¹⁴C yrs B.P. Ngatoro Formation. This study has found that the Ngatoro Formation has a highly variable and complex emplacement history as evidenced by the rapid textural changes with increasing distance from the modern day Egmont summit. The Ngatoro Formation comprises two closely spaced mass flow events whose flow and emplacement characteristics have undergone both proximal to distal and axial to marginal transformations. On surfaces adjacent to the Manganui Valley on the deeply incised flanks of Egmont Volcano, the Ngatoro Formation is identified as overbank surge deposits whereas at the boundary of Egmont National Park it occurs as massive, pebble- to boulder-rich debris flow deposits. At intermediate to distal distances (17-23 km from the modern Egmont summit) the Ngatoro Formation occurs as a sequence of multiple coalescing dominantly sandy textured hyperconcentrated flow deposits. The lateral and longitudinal textural variability in the Ngatoro Formation reflects downstream transformation from gas-supported block-and-ash flows to water-supported debris flows, then subsequently to turbulent pebbly-sand dominated hyperconcentrated flows. Palaeomagnetic temperature estimates for the Ngatoro Formation at two sites (Vickers and Surrey Road Quarries, c. 10 km from the present day Egmont summit) indicate clast incorporation temperatures of c. 300°C and emplacement temperatures of c. 200°C. The elevated emplacement temperatures supported by the Ngatoro Formation’s coarse textured, monolithologic componentry suggest non-cohesive emplacement of block-and-ash flow debris generated by the sequential gravitational collapse of an effusive lava dome after the paroxysmal Inglewood eruptive event (c. 3,600 ¹⁴C yrs B.P.). The occurrence of a prominent intervening paleosol between these two events suggest that they are not part of the same eruptive phase but rather, the latter is a product of a previously unrecognised extended phase of the Inglewood eruptive event. This study recognises the potential for gravitational dome collapse, the generation of block-and-ash flows and their lateral transformation to water-support mass flows (debris, hyperconcentrated and stream flows) occurring in years to decades following from the main eruptive phase. This insight has implications with respect to the evaluation of post-eruptive hazards and risk.

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  • A useful accessory: The use of lightweight replica ornament to manage the cultural heritage values of earthquake-prone buildings

    Smith, Moira (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In NZ, some earthquake-prone heritage buildings have, historically, been restored with lightweight replica ornament to reconstruct decorative features that have been damaged or removed over time. But restoration has traditionally been a contested approach to conservation, particularly when heritage values and authenticity are considered to be intrinsic only to original or historic built fabric. This problem leads to the central research question addressed in this dissertation: ‘Can lightweight replica ornament be used to manage the heritage value of earthquake-prone heritage buildings?’ The research draws on Critical Heritage Studies which challenges the conventional stress on the intrinsic value of tangible heritage objects, and argues that heritage value is found in the intangible cultural processes that surround things. Consequently, authenticity is seen as pluralised and dependent on the cultural concerns, and aspirations, of local stakeholder communities. Using the theoretical framework of critical heritage and material culture studies, this dissertation therefore examines a technical aspect of conservation practice by re-theorising the concept of 'restoration'. The research methodology employs an adapted model of Action Research to investigate current professional practice. After analysing the historical context of earthquake-prone heritage buildings in the first chapter, in chapter two qualitative interviews are conducted with professionals who have an interest in the management of earthquake-prone buildings. Through the analysis and discussion of this data, a new actor network model is developed which shows the wider context of the resolution of the earthquake-prone status of heritage buildings. The findings suggest that professionals believe that heritage value is intrinsic to built fabric, and that the repair of existing built fabric is generally achievable. This means that replica ornament should only be considered for situations where reparability is unfeasible, and that lightweight substitute materials should only be used where traditional materials and technologies can longer be reproduced. Within these constraints it is possible to use lightweight replica ornament where it can be justified as a contributor to cultural heritage values. Furthermore, where professionals can reconcile the varying concerns of stakeholder communities in terms of safety and heritage value then lightweight replica ornament has the potential to add meaning to buildings and to become part of the narrative of place.

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  • High Impedance Amplifiers for Non-Contact Bio-Potential Sensing

    Ryan, Brett (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research develops a non-contact bio-potential sensor which can quickly respond to input transient events, is insensitive to mechanical disturbances, and operates with a bandwidth from 0.04Hz – 20kHz, with input voltage noise spectral density of 200nV / √Hz at 1kHz. Initial investigations focused on the development of an active biasing scheme to control the sensors input impedance in response to input transient events. This scheme was found to significantly reduce the settling time of the sensor; however the input impedance was degraded, and the device was sensitive to distance fluctuations. Further research was undertaken, and a circuit developed to preserve fast settling times, whilst decreasing the sensitivity to distance fluctuations. A novel amplifier biasing network was developed using a pair of junction field effect transistors (JFETs), which actively compensates for DC and low frequency interference, whilst maintaining high impedance at signal frequencies. This biasing network significantly reduces the settling time, allowing bio-potentials to be measured quickly after sensor application, and speeding up recovery when the sensor is in saturation. Further work focused on reducing the sensitivity to mechanical disturbances even further. A positive feedback path with low phase error was introduced to reduce the effective input capacitance of the sensor. Tuning of the positive feedback loop gain was achieved with coarse and fine control potentiometers, allowing very precise gains to be achieved. The sensor was found to be insensitive to distance fluctuations of up to 0.5mm at 1Hz, and up to 2mm at 5kHz. As a complement to the non-contact sensor, an amplifier to measure differential bio-potentials was developed. This differential amplifier achieved a CMRR of greater than 100dB up to 10kHz. Precise fixed gains of 20±0:02dB, 40±0:01dB, 60±0:03dB, and 80±0:3dB were achieved, with input voltage noise density of 15nV / √Hz at 1kHz.

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  • An investigation into estimation and spatial sense as aspects of workplace numeracy: a case study of recycling and refuse operators within a situated learning model

    Kane, Philip John

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The abilities to estimate and to exercise spatial awareness are important elements of adult numeracy and are embedded in many workplace activities. However, contributions of these elements of numeracy in workplace activities are often overlooked. Although estimation is noticed, spatial awareness in particular seems to be rarely acknowledged (Marr & Hagston, 2007). This research study first investigates the use of these two elements by drawing on the perspective of numeracy as a situated social practice (Lerman, 2006; Street, Baker, & Tomlin, 2008) in a case study of the work of urban recycling and refuse collection operators. Ethnographic approaches such as observing the operators’ roles in their daily collection work and interviewing them are used to determine which strategies and numeracy practices the operators employ. What is seen is that a collection operator’s ability to estimate and use spatial awareness are important contributors to many of the critical decisions that are regularly made by him or her. A second part of the research is an investigation of how these operators have acquired the capabilities to make estimates and to be spatially aware. Although estimation and spatial awareness are established at an early age and then partly fostered in school mathematics themes such as number sense, measurement and geometry, the operators in the main did not recognise a great deal of mathematics in their everyday work. Instead their previous workplace training and experiences of driving and operating heavy equipment appeared to be the main sources of their senses of estimation and spatial awareness. This study demonstrates to trainers and educators they should not assume that these elements of numeracy are common knowledge or even common sense to their staff or students (Sorby, 2003). This study also suggests that estimation and spatial awareness practices which are concealed in workplaces and are probably overlooked, are challenging to assess by traditional measures. Hence trainers and educators need to continue to promote and model estimation practices, and even more deliberately, provide learning opportunities of those relevant components of spatial awareness for learners of any age.

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  • Saudisation and Women’s Empowerment through Employment in the Health Care Sector

    Alghamdi, Fatemah (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The majority of studies concerning Saudisation policy as a solution to decrease the unemployment of nationals and reduce the reliance on expatriate. However, this study looks at Saudisation as a tool to empower Saudi women working in the health care sector. Saudi working women have been lacking opportunities of empowerment, due to challenges they face in their daily life that hinder the development and equality of those women. The thesis has been guided by the literature and qualitative evidence that suggests obstacles to women’s empowerment and development involve socially constructed norms, traditions, religion and culture that primarily favour men. The study, also, adopts feminist geography and gender perspective and focuses on the individual voices of women working in the health care sector. This research uses different empowerment frameworks of Kabeer, Rowland, Stromquist and Freire, which are relevant to women employment and empowerment. This research utilises feminist methodology in obtaining deep understanding of the reality and experience of women employed in the health care sector. Findings of this research reveal conditions that maintain disempowerment of women working in health care sector, as well as identifying the tools that might guarantee their empowerment. Findings also show those women necessities in the case of gender needs that revolve around their domestic and working responsibilities. This thesis provides some recommendations to government, policy makers, educational institutions and employers about how to contribute in empowering women and overcoming challenges that hinder their development and wellbeing. Ultimately, this study aimed to, first, contribute to the literature of women’s empowerment by exploring their employment in a Saudi context and second, to put the spotlight on Saudi women’s issues through development lens and enrich that field of study.

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  • The Political Economy of New Zealand’s Consumers Price Index

    Higgs, Corin (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The structure of New Zealand’s Consumers Price Index has changed many times over its 100 year history. As New Zealand’s most influential and consequential official statistic the CPI performs political and distributional functions that affects ‘who gets what and when’. Some observers suggest that change in the structure of the CPI is merely the consequence of technological improvement which in turn alters the conduct of policy-making and politics. This study turns that assumption on its head by demonstrating that it is politics that has altered the technology known as the CPI. Through the examination and evaluation of the changing political and economic context that the index operates within, this thesis work finds that the CPI was transformed by the very political forces it was designed to contain. This thesis argues that because the index functions as political decision-making tool that supports the setting of salaries and wages, benefit levels and interest rates, change in the form of the index is a result of struggle among interests affected by these highly political decisions. This thesis makes its case through analysis of primary sources and official documentation relating to the development of the index. The first case study tracks the origins of the first official index in 1914, devised in order to learn what it cost a ‘working’ family to meet its basic needs through its transformation into a tool that set wages and measured price change in the wider economy. This is reinforced by a study of change to the index since the 1970s, focusing on the use of the CPI in the conduct of monetary policy that resulted in a politically driven change to the measurement of household inflation. These case studies are further supported by examination of the secondary literature on price indexes, monetary policy and institutional change theory. This thesis adds to the body of knowledge on theories of institutional change by presenting evidence of the conflict that has caused political change to the technology of the CPI.

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  • Organised Functional Liquids for Photon Upconversion

    van den Kerkhof, Lia Catherine (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Photon upconversion is a process by which lower energy photons are converted to higher energy photons, which can be achieved by the interaction of two triplet excited states. This process holds potential for wavelength shifting solid films in photovoltaic cells. Not all wavelengths emitted by the sun have sufficient energy to be utilized by such devices. Typical solar cells have a band gap of around 1 µm, however there is a significant amount of energy output by the sun that falls below this threshold. Upconversion could lead to more efficient use of energy by converting these lower energy wavelengths to wavelengths that could be directly absorbed by the solar panel. Upconversion has thus far been harnessed in solution, where diffusion is the limiting factor for the efficiency of the process. However, for technological applications it would be better to create thin solid films. In these films, molecules would have to be brought within the distance on which upconversion occurs, as the process would no longer be defined by diffusion. One way to achieve this would be to create liquid crystalline derivatives of upconversion emitter molecules. This would provide ordering in the system, which would enhance electronic coupling and bring molecules within the scale on which upconversion occurs. The work of this thesis has focused on the synthesis of these organised functional liquids: liquid crystals of common upconversion emitter molecules. 9,10-diphenylanthracene (DPA) and 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene (BPEA) are popular emitter molecules, and derivatives of these molecules were synthesized. A variety of alkyl chains were attached with or without phenyl linkers. The alkyl chains would provide entropy to the system in order to induce the formation of liquid crystalline phases. The resulting phase behaviour of these derivatives was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarised optical microscopy (POM). Eight novel derivatives of DPA and BPEA were synthesized. New information was gained as to the requirements of inducing liquid crystallinity in these dye molecules. Direct addition of chains symmetrically to the central dye molecules did not result in the formation of liquid crystalline phases. Through extension of the central core by an extra phenyl ring a liquid crystalline behaviour was observed. A synthesized derivative of DPA exhibited extreme supercooling, which is one of a few derivatives of 9,10-diphenylanthracene to exhibit a liquid state at room temperature. A derivative of BPEA was synthesized that exhibited formation of a mesophase (liquid crystal phase). These two derivatives were investigated for potential use as a material for upconversion.

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  • The wretched refuse of your teeming (virtual) shore: Second Life as homeland to the socially isolated

    Sherman, Kevin

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This mixed methods research explores the attachment that individuals harbour for the virtual world of Second Life by comparing participants with strong feelings of attachment to Second Life with those with weak feelings of attachment. In order to identify these two groups of participants, this research employed an online questionnaire that included actual world national attachment scales and their virtual world counterparts. Based on the results of this questionnaire, these two groups of participants were identified and located and their further participation requested. Once individuals agreed to further participate in this research, the two groups of participants – the primary group comprised of those with strong, multi-dimensional attachment for Second life and the comparison group comprised of those with weak attachment for Second Life – were then interviewed using qualitative, semi-structured interviews. Based upon thematic analysis of the results of the qualitative interviews, it was found that participants who possess strong, multi-dimensional attachment for Second Life tended to be those who can be classified as Socially Isolated or, in other words, unable, for the most part, to experience social interaction in the actual world. Participants who possess weak attachment for Second Life tended to be those who can be classified as Socially Supported or, in other words, possessing, for the most part, the capacity for actual world social interaction. The results of the thematic analysis indicates that across six of seven identified themes, the Socially Isolated participants possessed a much more positive perception of Second Life while the Socially Supported possessed a much more dismissive perception of Second Life, one characterized by ambivalence, derision and/or embarrassment. The research concludes by suggesting that Socially Supported participants are put ill at ease by a virtual world that attempts to replicate the actual world in which they already live while the Socially Isolated are not only untroubled by such a world but they exhibit deep appreciation and attachment for Second Life. In fact, Second Life seems to play a critical role in determining the very quality of their lives; it provides them with many things that the Socially Supported take for granted, including opportunities for socializing and friendship, workplace interaction, recreational activities, and even things as banal as walking down the street, sitting at a bar and dancing with a stranger.

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