6,152 results for VUW ResearchArchive

  • Internationally Qualified Nurses’ Perceptions of Patient Safety: New Zealand Case Studies

    Kane, Annie (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Twenty five percent of the current New Zealand nursing workforce comprises internationally qualified nurses (IQNs). For a significant proportion of IQNs, English is an additional language and the social, cultural and historical context of the health systems from their country of origin differs significantly to that of New Zealand. International studies have found that despite many of these IQNs having extensive nursing experience prior to entering a new country, the challenges involved with transition can have implications for patient safety. This study aimed to investigate IQNs’ perceptions of the competencies that pertain to patient safety. The study was informed by an interpretive-constructivist approach that acknowledges these perceptions are constructed within a social, cultural, and historical context. A qualitative multiple case study design was used with the Communities of Practice (CoP) theory as the conceptual framework. The primary data source was semi-structured interviews with four IQNs while they attended a Competency Assessment Programme (CAP) to obtain New Zealand nursing registration. The IQNs’ email reflections and programme documents were used as additional data. Thematic analysis of the individual cases followed by cross-case analysis revealed similar perceptions concerning patient safety across the four cases. Exposure to Nursing Council of New Zealand’s (NCNZ) competencies for safe nursing practice during the CAP course did not notably change the participants’ initial perceptions. The most significant finding of this study was that the social, cultural, and historical context of the health system and nursing role mediates how maintaining patient safety will be perceived and enacted in practice. The findings also highlighted the importance of engaging with participant perspectives in order to identify specific areas required for learning and transfer of information. These findings had important implications for further development of educational and healthcare agency support for IQN transition.

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  • Healthcare-seeking behaviour for sexually transmitted infection testing in New Zealand: A mixed methods study

    Denison, Hayley (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a global public health problem. Sequelae for infected individuals can be serious and STIs impose a substantial financial burden on healthcare systems. Duration of infection is one factor influencing transmission rates, and is modifiable through secondary prevention methods, namely ‘test and treat’. For this approach to be effective, at-risk individuals must choose to present for testing. New Zealand provides a useful case-study to investigate healthcare-seeking behaviour for STI testing, as incidence rates of common STIs are especially high. The aims of this thesis were to quantify healthcare-seeking behaviour for STI symptoms and assess the risk of transmission in this period, to identify the barriers to STI testing, to understand the personal drivers for getting an STI test, to examine how STI knowledge is associated with testing behaviour, and finally, to collate and critically evaluate the published evidence regarding the incidence of a lesser known sequela of STI, reactive arthritis. This thesis took a mixed method approach, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods to address the research aims. The results showed that delays in healthcare-seeking for STI symptoms were common among patients attending an inner-city Sexual Health Clinic (SHC). Almost half of people with symptoms waited longer than seven days to seek healthcare, although there were no identified predictors of delayed healthcare-seeking. Around a third of people with symptoms continued to have sex after they first thought they may need to seek healthcare. Among these individuals, infrequent condom use was reported more by those who had sex with existing sexual partners than by those who had sex with new partners. Having sex while symptomatic was statistically significantly associated with delaying seeking healthcare for more than seven days (odds ratio (OR) = 3.25, 95% CI 1.225 – 8.623, p = 0.018). Analysis of qualitative interview data revealed three types of barriers to testing. These were personal (underestimating risk, perceiving STIs as not serious, fear of invasive procedure, self-consciousness in genital examination and being too busy), structural (financial cost of test and clinician attributes and attitude) and social (concern of being stigmatised). This work also revealed several drivers for testing including crisis, partners, clinicians, routines, and previous knowledge. Knowledge of the incidence, asymptomatic nature and sequelae of STIs featured prominently in the explanations of those who undertook routine testing. However, at the same time, many of the participants felt they did not have a good knowledge base and that their school-based sex education had been lacking. STI knowledge was investigated further using quantitative methodology. Levels of STI knowledge were generally good and did not differ between a Student Health Service population and an SHC population. Individuals who had tested before had significantly better knowledge than those who were attending for testing for the first time (U = 10089.500, Z = -4.684, p < 0.001). In addition, total knowledge score was an independent predictor of having had a previous test (OR = 1.436, 95% CI 1.217-1.694, p < 0.001). Reactive arthritis can be triggered by STI, thus STI screening patients who present with reactive arthritis has the potential to identify undiagnosed infection. This thesis provides the first assessment of the international literature regarding the incidence of reactive arthritis after STI. The systematic review found only three published studies which had prospectively examined the incidence of reactive arthritis after STI. The studies reported an incidence of reactive arthritis after STI of 3.0% to 8.1% and were found to be of low to moderate quality. In conclusion, this thesis provides healthcare service providers, policy makers and clinicians with data to inform practice and public health interventions aimed at improving healthcare-seeking behaviour for STI testing. It illustrates that delayed healthcare-seeking for STI symptoms is a common behaviour in New Zealand and could potentially be contributing to STI transmission and downstream burden on the health system. This work provides evidence of the drivers of STI testing that can be promoted, and the barriers that need to be removed. Specifically, improving STI knowledge may positively impact on testing rates. Lastly, this research indicates that there is a need for more studies assessing the incidence of reactive arthritis after an STI.

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  • The Nutritional Implications of Partner Switching in the Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis

    Matthews, Jennifer (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Reef-building corals form a symbiosis with phototrophic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. Specificity in the host-symbiont partnership is widespread, despite the potential for flexibility in endosymbiont community composition to provide a mechanism of environmental acclimatisation and adaptation. The potential for partner switching may be linked to the nutritional flux between the two partners, with optimal nutritional exchange determining success. Further research is therefore necessary to determine how novel symbiont types (i.e. not originally detected in the host) affect the nutritional biology of the cnidarian host, and ultimately the capacity for the evolution of novel associations in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. The specific objectives were: 1) to design an effective method of providing aposymbiotic host organisms for experimental symbiont colonisation studies; 2) to determine how colonisation with a novel symbiont affects the gene-to-metabolite response of the host; 3) to deduce how the quantity and identity of translocated photosynthetic products from symbiont to host is affected by the symbiont type; 4) to determine whether natural differences in the Symbiodinium community composition affect the metabolite profile of the same cnidarian host. Chapter 2 demonstrates that menthol-induced bleaching effectively and efficiently provides experimental aposymbiotic (i.e. symbiont-free) sea anemones (Aiptasia sp.) for colonisation studies. The menthol treatment produced aposymbiotic hosts within just 4 weeks (97–100% symbiont loss), and the condition was maintained long after treatment when anemones were held under a standard light:dark cycle. The ability of Aiptasia to form a stable symbiosis appeared to be unaffected by menthol exposure, as demonstrated by successful reestablishment of the symbiosis when anemones were experimentally re-colonised with the homologous Symbiodinium (i.e. originating from the same host species). Furthermore, there was no significant impact on photosynthetic or respiratory performance of re-colonised anemones. A novel application of statistically integrated transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses was applied in Chapter 3 to explore the molecular and metabolic pathways underlying symbiosis specificity in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. Aposymbiotic individuals of the sea anemone Aiptasia generated by the methods optimised in Chapter 2 were colonised with either the homologous Symbiodinium type B1 or the novel Symbiodinium type D1a. RNA-seq gene expression analysis and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling were conducted on the isolated host tissues. Analysis of the gene and metabolite expression profiles revealed that a novel symbiont confers an expression pattern intermediate between hosting a homologous symbiont, and having no symbiont. Although the formation and autotrophic potential of the novel association was similar to the homologous association, as determined by O₂ flux measurements, the novel association resulted in an increase in the catabolism of metabolic stores (glycogen, lipid and protein), presumably in order to meet the energy requirements associated with the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Integrated pathway analysis revealed reduced energy storage, an increased catabolism of stores, metabolic signalling and cellular redox homeostasis were molecular processes involved in the hosts’ response to a novel symbiont type. This raised interesting questions as to how differences in the composition of symbiont-derived metabolites might feature in the specificity of the symbiosis. Metabolite profiling was subsequently coupled with ¹³C-labelling in Chapter 4, to identify the specific differences in the identity and quantity of photosynthetic carbon products translocated to the Aiptasia host when in symbiosis with the novel Symbiodinium type D1a versus the homologous Symbiodinium B1. A reduction in the diversity and quantity of net translocated products was observed in the novel association, despite achieving a similar autotrophic potential to the homologous association, as determined by O₂ flux measurements. Interestingly, however, there was a continued fixation and translocation of carbon products to the host, suggesting that novel associations are, at least in part, metabolically functional in terms of photosynthate provision. Nevertheless, the decreased diversity and abundance of translocated products were associated with modifications to biosynthesis, increased catabolism of host energy stores, and oxidative stress-related signalling pathways in hosts colonised with the novel Symbiodinium type D1a.The impact of symbiont type on the host’s metabolite profile in an experimental setting raised the interesting possibility that the metabolite profiles of a cnidarian that forms natural flexible associations with different Symbiodinium types may also have dissimilar metabolite profiles, with implications for the nutritional physiology of the symbiosis. This was tested in Chapter 5. An in situ field survey of the metabolite profiles of Montipora capitata, a dominant reef-building coral in Hawai’i that forms homologous symbioses with Symbiodinium in clades C and clade D, revealed the metabolite pools of a coral host were not affected by Symbiodinium community composition. Given prior evidence that clade D can be less nutritionally beneficial to the coral host than some other symbiont types, the reasons for the similarity in metabolite profiles remains unclear. However, possible explanations are: 1) host heterotrophic compensation for the presence of a less beneficial symbiont; 2) modifications to the abundance and identity of metabolites exchanged in the symbiosis, perhaps via host selection of its symbiont community over time to provide an optimal state; or 3) adjustment to the host’s metabolic pathway activity in response to different host-symbiont interactions, that produces similar free-metabolite profiles in the host. Nevertheless, this served to highlight that a coral host in a naturally flexible association, and under ‘normal’ environmental conditions, may maintain a steady metabolite profile irrespective of its Symbiodinium community composition. Notably, this contrasts with the findings that heterologous symbionts (i.e. those not usually associated with a particular host species) may have negative nutritional implications for the host that could ultimately restrict the success and persistence of novel host-symbiont pairings. This study provides important evidence that optimal nutritional exchange and mechanisms of coping with oxidative stress in both partners are important determinants in the evolution of novel cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses. However, it also raises the possibility that such novel pairings, should they persist, may evolve over time to a more beneficial symbiotic state; this is worthy of further study. Indeed, we need to continue our efforts to understand the molecular and physiological mechanisms underpinning the adaptation of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis to climate change, to facilitate the development of robust management strategies to safeguard the world’s coral reefs.

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  • Chinese international students travelling with friends: Group decision-making and disagreement prevention

    Zhu, Hanru (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis investigates the group decision-making process of Chinese international students travelling with friends in New Zealand. Focusing on groups of friends, a neglected decision-making unit, it explores models of group decision-making and disagreement prevention and resolution strategies of Chinese international students making travel-related decisions. Qualitative research method governed by the interpretive paradigm was adopted. Sixteen Chinese international students from Victoria University of Wellington were interviewed. They were from eleven travel groups and had experience of independent leisure travel in non-family groups in New Zealand. Given that Chinese independent visitor market to New Zealand keeps growing, and Chinese international students have been referred as “China's first wave of independent travellers” (King & Gardiner, 2015), this study adds knowledge to the understanding of the travel behaviours and decision-making process of this market travelling in New Zealand. Tourism attractions were the most discussed travel-related decision during the group decision-making process, followed by decisions on travel activities, food and restaurants, accommodation and transportation. Three group decision-making models were identified: leadership, division of work, and shared decision-making. Leadership includes three roles of leaders, namely the travel initiator who has the initial idea for the trip and who gets potential members together, the main plan-provider who is responsible for collecting travel information and travel tips to make the whole travel plan and arrange travel schedules, and the main decision-maker who makes the final decision in the travel group. The former two roles are with less dominance, while the latter is with higher dominance in the decision-making process. The division of work model refers to dividing the tasks (e.g. organising accommodation or transport) within the travel group and includes two roles: the plan-provider who is responsible for making the plan for the allocated task, and the decision-maker who made the decision on the allocated task. In the shared decision-making model, the group members make the travel-related decisions collectively by discussion and voting. Most travel groups were found to use multiple group decision-making models conjointly, with a few groups only using the shared decision-making model. Overall, the most used models were shared decision-making and leadership. Most travel group who adopted the leadership model tended to then use either shared decision-making model or the division of work model depending on the level of dominance of group leader. Most interviewees indicated that there was lack of disagreement during the group decision-making process. Thus the research focus has shifted from the disagreement resolution to the disagreement prevention. Five disagreement prevention strategies and one influencing factor were identified: travelling with like-minded people, adequate preparation, empathy and mutual understanding, tolerance, compensation and external factors. If disagreements occurred, one or more of tight strategies were adopted by the interviewees to resolve them, namely making concessions, discussing and voting, looking for alternatives, persuasion, toleration, splitting up, accommodating and delaying. Implications and recommendation for industries and future studies are discussed.

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  • The cost of being under the weather: Droughts, floods, and health care costs in Sri Lanka

    De Alwis, Diana; Noy, Ilan (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    We measure to cost of extreme weather events (droughts and floods) on health care in Sri Lanka. We find that frequently occurring local floods and droughts impose a significant risk to health when individuals are exposed directly to these hazards, and when their communities are exposed, even if they themselves are unaffected. Those impacts, and especially the indirect spillover effects to households that are not directly affected, are associated with the land-use in the affected regions and with access to sanitation and hygiene. Finally, both direct and indirect risks associated with flood and drought on health have an economic cost; our estimates suggest Sri Lanka spends 52.8 million USD per year directly on the health care costs associated with floods and droughts, divided almost equally between the public and household sectors, and 22% vs. 78% between floods and droughts, respectively. In Sri Lanka, both the frequency and the intensity of droughts and floods are likely to increase because of climatic change. Consequently, the health burden associated with these events is only likely to increase, demanding precious resources that are required elsewhere.

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  • The development of science epistemology in senior science courses: A quantitative study

    McIntosh, Edit (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Epistemological development is a pivotal aspect of liberal education because the ability to distinguish between knowledge and pseudo-knowledge and the ability to use the particular methods of reasoning associated with various disciplinary fields equips people to make judgements in complex issues. The present study examines the extent to which studying each of the different science disciplines in secondary years 12 and 13 supports the development of science epistemology. A further aim was to determine the relationship between epistemological development in science and the completion of inquiry-type coursework. Data were collected from 735 year 12 and 13 students from 11 schools, mainly from the Wellington region. A survey, designed for this study, comprised statements about the nature of science and scientific argumentation conceptions, two pivotal aspects of science epistemology. Using a quasi-experimental design, this quantitative study explores the extent of the development of science epistemology over a year of studying science, by comparing students’ scores in Term 1 with scores in Term 3 on the instrument. The findings showed a more advanced epistemic view among science students; however, a positive effect of science studies on epistemic development was not evident. It was concluded that a greater emphasis on authentic inquiry is essential for epistemic development and, while understanding of the philosophical assumptions underpinning scientific knowledge is important, this should arise from authentic science inquiries – or the processes of science – rather than being taught in isolation from the practice of the discipline of science. This leads to a question the extent to which an emphasis should be placed on the ontological aspects of the philosophy and the sociology of science, potentially at the expense of developing sound understanding of science epistemology.

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  • The unfortunate regressivity of public natural hazard insurance: A quantitative analysis of a New Zealand case

    Owen, Sally; Noy, Ilan (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Natural hazard insurance is almost always provided through public-private partnerships. Given the dominant role of the public sector, it is surprising that equity issues have not faced more scrutiny with respect to the design of hazard insurance. We provide a detailed quantification of the degree of regressivity of the New Zealand earthquake insurance program – a system that was designed with an egalitarian purpose. We measure this regressivity as it manifested in the half a million insurance claims that resulted from the Canterbury earthquakes of 2011. As in other cases, this can be remedied with modifications to the program’s structure.

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  • A Novel System for Monitoring in vivo Cell Signaling Pathways Involved in Early Embryonic Patterning

    Rooney, Louise (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Early developmental events, such as the arrangement of the head-tail axis, are fundamentally driven by cell signalling cascades. Such incidents are regulated in a highly complex manner by promoters and inhibitors at many levels of the cascade. This complexity makes it difficult to understand where and when certain signalling occurs, and what effects additional factors have on the signalling system. Nodal signalling, executed by intracellular Smad2/3 signal propagation, is thought to induce the anterior-posterior and head-tail patterning of the early mouse embryo. Target gene outputs of this signalling are fine-tuned by a vast array of modulators; TGBβ co-receptors, extracellular ligand and receptor inhibitors, DNA binding cofactors, and intracellular enhancers and inhibitors. The endogenous target genes of this system cannot be used as a measure of signalling as they themselves feedback on the original system and others, creating diverse signals. In this body of work, we have distilled the Nodal signalling cascade to a single variable by creating a fluorescent genetic reporter to semi-quantitatively measure Smad signalling during early embryonic development. Reporter constructs contain Smad binding elements, a minimal promoter and fluorescent protein elements. Various sensitivity Smad binding elements were created to respond to different thresholds of signalling. Fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry were used to verify responsiveness of reporter constructs, tested first in a mouse embryonic fibroblast line and subsequently in transgenic embryos. This study will provide an understanding of how extracellular cues dictate gene expression during early embryonic formation. The knowledge acquired from this work may have implications in dairy cattle and human fertility.

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  • Drifting 3D Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks for Pollution Monitoring

    Ren, Yu (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Increasing demands by a growing population for food and oil have resulted in synchronous rises in the past 40 years of aquaculture and offshore oil drilling. Growth in these industries has highlighted the potential crippling impacts of coastal pollution, with marine farms likely to be susceptible to damage from harmful algal blooms and oil platforms to cause oil spills, as headlined by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Drifting underwater wireless sensor networks (UWSNs) represent a technology that can greatly enhance our understanding of such processes. Consisting of a swarm of untethered sensor nodes, an UWSN can be deployed over a large segment of the feature. The feature is carried through to different positions by underwater currents, the nodes, also drifting with the currents, are able to follow it and track it. To enable UWSNs, work is proceeding at multiple laboratories throughout the world on the design of localization, medium access control and routing protocols that can adapt to the problem that a drifting network topology has over short time intervals: frequent neighbour changes. However, the long-term impact that current drift has on 3D drifting UWSNs is poorly understood. Current mobility models used to generate the motion of drifting nodes in simulation do not reflect how devices in real-life will disperse in water. At present, UWSN protocol schemes are evaluated in simulations where the current mobility of nodes is generated by unrealistic land-based random waypoint and other stochastic mobility models, or coarsely resolved numerical ocean models. Recently, a physically-inspired current mobility model known as MCM has been proposed. This is only defined along the water's surface, in 2D, however, and 3D extensions of this model have been simplistic and arbitrary. The lack of realistic 3D current mobility models motivates this thesis to develop one so that the simulated evolution of UWSNs can more accurately reflect real-life. A consideration of the oceanographic data on which MCM is based is used to derive a 3D extension of the model that reflects observed features of the Gulf Stream current. The speed of the current declines with depth. This model is utilized to advect a drifting UWSN in an oil plume monitoring scenario and study the performance of two pressure routing protocols, Depth Based Routing (DBR) and HydroCast, over time. Previously, these schemes had only been validated in unrealistic stochastic and depth-invariant mobility models and their time-averaged performances were only reported. Our findings show that 3D UWSNs cannot expect to stay connected and functioning if nodes only passively drift with the currents, with results demonstrating that a fully connected network can be so dispersed after three hours that no paths to sinks exist at all. Nodes must be equipped with some form of mobility to prevent their being separated and carried out of the monitoring region. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) capable of omnidirectional motion are expensive however, and instead UWSNs consisting of pro ling floats are considered in this thesis. Floats can move up and down by adjusting their buoyancy, which also allow them to move in 3D by exploiting water layers that are flowing in different directions to proceed along a desired heading. Recently, promising results in 2D path planning and formation control of floats have been presented. However, these works consider the floats to have infinite vertical velocity whereas in reality this is around 0:3 metres per second. In this thesis, a practical node movement scheme is proposed for extending the coverage lifetime of a 3D UWSN consisting of floats. By accounting for the finite profiling velocity of floats, the scheme is able to position nodes at coverage holes with greater precision than existing 2D strategies. The scheme's performance is analysed by simulations. The results support the use of floats for achieving partial coverage, which can achieve similar levels of coverage as an AUV strategy while requiring less cost to deploy. In determining the lifetime of the network, we find that both energy and dispersion limit the lifetime of the network. Without propulsion, the nodes are carried out of and cease to cover the monitoring region. Using mobility to remain with the region, at the end of a 5 day mission duration floats have had to use up some or almost all of their battery capacity in profiling.

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  • A viable and cost-effective weather index insurance for rice in Indonesia

    Kusuma, Aditya; Noy, Ilan; Jackson, Bethanna (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The potentially adverse effects of droughts on agricultural output are obvious. Indonesian rice farmers have no financial protection from climate risk via catastrophic weather risk transfer tools. Done well, a weather index insurance (WII) program can not only provide resources that enable recovery, but can also facilitate the adoption of prevention and adaptation measures and incentivise risk reduction. Here, we quantify the applicability, viability, and likely cost of introducing a WII for droughts for rice production in Indonesia. To reduce basis risk, we construct district specific indices that are based on the estimation of Panel Geographically Weighted Regressions models. With these spatial tools, and detailed district level data on past agricultural productivity and weather conditions, we present an algorithm that generates an effective and actuarially sound WII, and measure its effectiveness in reducing income volatility for farmers. We use data on annual paddy production in 428 Indonesian districts, reported over the period 1990-2013, and climate data from 1950-2015. We use the monthly Palmer Drought Severity Index and identify district-specific trigger and exit points for the insurance plan. We quantify the impact of this hypothetical insurance product using past production data to calculate an actuarially-robust and welfare-enhancing price for this scheme.

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  • Fostering incidental vocabulary uptake from audio-visual materials: The role of text comprehension

    Nguyễn, Chí Đức (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research project explores various factors that may influence the rate of incidental foreign/second language (L2) vocabulary acquisition from audio-visual materials, with a special focus on procedures that enhance learners’ comprehension of these input materials. Informed by relevant theories and research findings in the fields of L2 listening comprehension and incidental vocabulary acquisition, I investigate the effects of having learners (a) view a TED Talks video twice rather than once, (b) sum up the content of the video before watching it a second time, (c) watch TED Talks videos on the same subject in order to increase familiarity with that subject, and (d) exchange summaries of TED Talks videos with peers so as to assist each other’s subsequent processing of those videos. As these interventions are all deemed to facilitate L2 listening comprehension, they are also expected to create favourable conditions for incidental vocabulary uptake to occur. The effects on incidental vocabulary acquisition of the above interventions were gauged in a series of classroom experiments with Vietnamese EFL learners. Although vocabulary uptake was generally far from spectacular, all of the tested procedures were found to result in statistically significant vocabulary gains. The insertion of the output tasks (i.e., the summary activities) was particularly useful. First, they helped to enhance the learners’ text comprehension. Second, they created opportunities for the learners to use newly met words and thus consolidate their knowledge of these lexical items. A thread through the experimental data is the strong association between the learners’ vocabulary uptake and their comprehension of the input content. The findings from this research project are consistent with several established notions, models and theories in the fields, including Ausubel’s Advance Organizer (1978), Hulstijn and Laufer’s Involvement Load Hypothesis (2001), Krashen’s Input Hypothesis (1985), Nation’s Vocabulary Generation (2013), Swain’s Output Hypothesis (2005), and Wittrock’s Model of Generative Teaching of Comprehension (1991). However, there are also findings that go beyond the core tenets of these, and that can further our understanding of how learners process new lexical items in meaning-focused input and output tasks. Regarding pedagogical implications, this research project confirms that fostering L2 listening comprehension creates favourable conditions for incidental vocabulary acquisition to happen, and that the aforementioned classroom procedures are facilitative in this regard, albeit to different degrees.

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  • A Paleoclimate Reconstruction of the Little Ice Age to Modern Era Climate Conditions in the Eastern Ross Sea, Antarctica as Captured in the RICE Ice Core

    Brightley, Hannah (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Little Ice Age (LIA) (1400-1850 AD) represents one of the most significant climatic shifts over the past 5000 years. Previous studies from Antarctica indicate generally cooler and stormier conditions during this period, but this pattern shows distinct spatial and temporal variability. The Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core provides a new opportunity to study the drivers behind this variability at annual/seasonal resolution, in a relatively under-sampled and climatically sensitive region in the eastern Ross Sea. Contrary to previous studies, isotope measurements suggest warm conditions during the LIA at Roosevelt Island. This study presents analysis of eight major ions (Na⁺, Mg²⁺, Ca²⁺, K⁺, MS⁻, Cl⁻, NO₃⁻, SO₄²⁻) using both Ion Chromatograph and ICP-MS data, in order to reconstruct the atmospheric circulation pattern, sea ice extent and marine primary productivity across this LIA to Modern Era (ME) at Roosevelt Island. The dataset is tied to a robust age model allowing annual dating and the opportunity to accurately reconstruct rates of change during this ME-LIA. Challenges revolving around the calibration of the Ion Chromatograph are also discussed. The major ion record determines whether the lack of cooling in the Roosevelt Island core implied by the stable isotopes represents a true temperature anomaly or whether the atmospheric circulation pattern caused an isotopic enrichment that masks an underlying cooling. It was determined that Roosevelt Island experienced during the LIA (i) an increase in marine air mass intrusions along with weaker katabatic winds compared to the 200 years prior, (ii) decreased biological productivity and (iii) increased sea ice. From the 1850-1880s to 1992 AD, there is a shift to reduced marine winds, increased katabatics, increased biological productivity and decreased sea ice until 1992. In the wider Ross Sea context, this suggests an east-west divide in terms of the dominance of katabatics versus marine wind influence. This divide is attributed with the warming signal seen in the RICE record in the Eastern Ross Sea and the cooling in the Western Ross Sea records. It is also likely linked to the influence of climate indices on the depth/position of the Amundsen Sea Low.

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  • Dolls, Diagrams and Drawings: Interviewers’ Perspectives on Visual Aids in Child Witness Interviews

    Hill, Alexandra (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In cases of child maltreatment child witnesses are often the sole sources of information about the suspected events, meaning their contribution to an investigation is critical. However, children may find recounting their experiences in sufficient detail challenging (Poole & Bruck, 2012). Visual aids are the tools (e.g. diagrams, drawings, and dolls) forensic interviewers often use in interviews to help children remember or describe their experiences and overcome children’s social and cognitive limitations. Research evaluating these aids indicates that any gains in information, reported by children, are typically accompanied by significant increases in false details, thus compromising the accuracy of accounts (Brown, 2011). The purpose of this study was to establish the extent to which interviewers in New Zealand use visual aids with children, and their knowledge of relevant research and the national interviewing protocol. Thirty-one New Zealand Specialist Child Witness Interviewers completed a questionnaire that assessed how and why they use aids, and their knowledge of, and adherence to, the literature and protocols guiding interviewer practice with visual aids. Interviewers’ responses indicated they used a range of aids, with both younger and older children, for a range of reasons, many of which have not been extensively researched. Generally, interviewers had poor knowledge of the existing research and protocol guidelines, and knowledge did not predict adherence to the recommendations. The findings identify the need to educate interviewers about the evidence-base surrounding various aids, as well as conducting research that more closely reflects how aids are used with children.

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  • Social accountability - Its position and potential in the development of Vietnam

    Ta, Ha (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Civil society organizations in Vietnam are experiencing some critical transitions. As the nation is no longer on the list of low income countries, an increasing number of such organizations are changing their missions from alleviating poverty to promoting more democratic governance. ‘Social accountability’, as one of their most common employed approaches, is often the combination of civic engagement, evidence-based monitoring, and advocacy. Carrying with it the expectation of improving accountability in Vietnam, the approach is still a new, foreign-imported concept which will challenge and be challenged by particular contextual factors in the country. This study examines the practices of social accountability in Vietnam to find out its position and potential in terms of development of the country. Promoting social accountability in Vietnam is often based on the assumption that the approach will improve government’s accountability, strengthening the state – citizen relationship. It is envisaged that the country will be eventually more open as a result. It is as yet an optimistic vision and will take time for practitioners to put in place. This study aims to analyse how early adoption of social accountability is affected by Vietnam’s contextual factors, to what extent it is affecting governance and increasing people’s participation, and what organizations can actually expect of social accountability. The research aims to fill a gap in the literature regarding social accountability in Vietnam. As a new concept, social accountability is often introduced via materials provided by international organizations like World Bank and UNICEF. Most of the documents present successful cases of applying social accountability in other countries like India and Bangladesh, and countries in Latin America. Thus, a critical analysis of adopting social accountability in the Vietnam context is necessary to provide more insights for both practitioners and scholars on the topic. Employing interviews as the key method, the study seeks input from key informants who are involved in the adoption of social accountability in Vietnam. From perspectives of government officials, development practitioners, and community members, the reality of practicing social accountability and how it is interacting and negotiating with other factors in society should be more clearly revealed. Practical expectations and recommendations to conceive of and practice social accountability in Vietnam are also suggested.

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  • Improving Adolescent Girls' Argument Writing: A Tier 1 Self-Regulated Strategy Development Intervention in a New Zealand Secondary School Social Studies Classroom

    Hutchinson, Kathryn (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) is a model of writing instruction with a convincing evidence base (Santangelo, Harris & Graham, 2016). The present study examines why SRSD is more effective for some students than for others. A mixed methods one-group pre-post design was used to compare writing performance, writing self-efficacy, self-regulation for writing, and knowledge of argument writing. The whole-class (n=27) wrote argument essays using an SRSD writing instruction method, in an urban multicultural New Zealand secondary school. Students completed the following digital scales and questionnaires: a writing self-efficacy scale, a self-regulation aptitude for writing scale, and writing knowledge questionnaires pre- and post-intervention. Following the quantitative phase, where students showed gains in argument writing, interviews were conducted with a sample of students who showed low, moderate and high gains in argument writing. Results indicate that while SRSD instruction in argument writing improves writing performance generally, transcription issues can be barriers to writing progress, as can issues with ideation and self-regulation. This Tier 1 SRSD intervention contributes to the SRSD writing research in that it supports the global generalisability of the SRSD method in teaching argument writing, and evaluates reasons for its relative effectiveness.

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  • The factors that influence the reestablishment of Podocarpus totara (totara) and Dacrycarpus dacrydioides (kahikatea) in a freshwater New Zealand wetland.

    Waring, Stevie (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Wetlands are productive transitional lands between terrestrial and aquatic systems. They provide social, economic and cultural values, while providing valuable services such as carbon storage, water purification, flood abatement and biodiversity support. While wetlands only cover ~3% of the globe, they contribute up to 40% of these global renewable ecosystem services. Worldwide degradation of wetlands through urbanisation, conversion to agriculture and flood management schemes has resulted in a 50% loss of the worlds original wetlands, with New Zealand being one of the most extreme examples of this with >90% of the original extent of wetlands being lost. Wetlands unique hydrology results in distinct plant zonation and community composition and seedling survival is the primary factor that influences stand structure and community composition. However, restoring degraded wetlands is challenging because the alterations to the hydrology through filling or diverting water will impact the effect of physical, chemical and biotic environmental variables on native plant establishment. The use of facilitation in restoration through successional planting using nurse trees, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is common in restoration, however research into the effectiveness of these techniques in wetland systems is lacking. This thesis is comprised of two studies with aims to determine the factors that had the biggest impact on the survival and growth of kahikatea and totara in Wairio wetland and inform future restoration. Wairio wetland has large isolated remnant kahikatea trees, so my first study focused on how these established trees and a connection to fungal hyphae networks influenced the survival and growth of newly planted saplings. One sapling of each species was planted at the dripline of the remnant tree, and another sapling of each species was planted 2 metres from that point. Out of the 16 remnant kahikatea trees used, 8 were ‘disturbance’ plots where saplings were planted in 35μm mesh bags that excluded roots but fungal hyphae could penetrate, in slotted pots which were turned every 3 months. In the 8 remaining ‘undisturbed’ plots, saplings were planted into the ground. I assessed the influence of distance and disturbance on sapling survival and growth using a chi-square test of independence and general linear models. Results showed that kahikatea trees survived better than totara overall. The survival of totara was significantly reliant on a close proximity to the remnant kahikatea, and a connection with mycorrhizal networks. Kahikatea had greater biomass than totara, however they suffered strong conspecific competition with the remnant trees, with kahikatea saplings planted at the dripline having 51.28g greater biomass with regular disturbance of AMF mycelium. Kahikatea trees are light demanding species, and therefore growing under the canopy of a parent tree has a negative impact on kahikatea saplings growth. Knowing that kahikatea and totara trees respond differently to nurse trees and AMF, my second study focused on how nurse effects and AMF association changes with chemical, physical and environmental stressors. The survival and growth of 5-year-old kahikatea and totara trees, with or without a nurse across 10 blocks in Wairio wetland were analysed. At each tree, soil moisture and root available nutrients were measured and soil cores were taken to determine gravimetric soil moisture, reduction-oxidation reaction (redox), pH, soil carbon content and I counted the presence of AMF spores in two size classes. I assessed tree survival and growth against these variables using a chi-squared test of independence and general linear models. The results of this study showed that kahikatea survived better than totara trees in the very wet blocks, where no other species survived. Totara trees survived in the upland sites of the wetland and had better growth than kahikatea trees. Moreover, totara trees grew 24cm taller in the presence of a nurse tree, and were strongly positively associated with spore number. Nurse trees further benefitted totara trees by increasing plant available soil nitrate and potassium by almost double.

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  • Infrastructure asset diagnostics: Enabling smarter asset management decisions within the electricity distribution industry

    Bryson, Richard Vernon (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines the opportunities for better asset management within the electricity distribution industry. The project partner, a supplier of distribution products, observed their customers are often purchasing incorrect equipment for maintenance operations. This observation led the project partner to believe a lack of accurate asset knowledge exists within these electricity distribution businesses (EDBs). Coupled with the information that much of the installed asset base of these EDBs is approaching end of life, it was proposed to investigate the suspected lack of asset condition and type knowledge with the intention of developing the Infrastructure Asset Diagnostic Tool (IADT). A literature review was conducted to determine the current state of asset diagnostics within the electricity distribution industry. The principles of lean start-up business development have been used to isolate the most needed technology within the New Zealand marketplace through interviews with industry personnel. These interviews helped identify a possible Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the IADT, and also indicated that providing the IADT as a professional service would be the most appropriate model for the MVP variant. Condition and type knowledge of wooden poles, conductors and line hardware was found to be the most lacking. It was recommended to focus product development on the assessment of these assets. The project partner has contracted two smart tool suppliers for the analysis of poles and conductor clearances. These products were then integrated to enable accurate assessments of wooden poles. An additional product identified as an aside during the interviews, was for a simple pole designing application which could be used in the field. An existing product from one of the smart tool suppliers contracted can fulfil this requirement. Possible benefits from IADT use were calculated for a sample EDB. These calculations indicated accurate condition assessment of wooden poles could lead to a saving of up to $5.4 million per year. This saving would equate to a possible reduction in time for securing pole integrity on this network from 30.8 years to just 5.9 years through more effective use of available funding. This reduction would lead to enhanced network reliability and improved public safety in a much shorter time frame than present, therefore this study recommends implementing the MVP form of the IADT at an initial EDB.

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  • Hungry for Progress? Enacting Food Sovereignty

    Kula-Kaczmarski, Natasha (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research builds upon and utilises an emerging field of food and development theory – food sovereignty – as it discusses possibilities for an alternative food system, where the production, distribution and consumption of food may be guided by principles that foster a holistic, ethical and sustainable approach. The theory of food sovereignty has grown from the writings of La Via Campesina (a global movement of food producers in the Global South) and offers critiques of the current food system, food security and corporate globalisation. As I grapple with the key principles of food sovereignty and explore the ways in which they are visible within Wellington, Aotearoa, I interact with five key organisations and present ways their actions foster a food sovereignty paradigm. By blending the theoretical with the practical, this thesis presents the lived experiences of people working in; Koanga Institute, Biofarm, Commonsense Organics, Workerbe and Kaibosh. Bringing together the perspectives of these five organisations with relevant literature, this thesis first discusses some potential market-based solutions for achieving ethical consumption. It then examines ideas around the move to ‘grow something’ as a tool for resistance, reclaiming spaces and healing; to finally explore the ways in which a more holistic approach to food can nurture spiritual connections in profound and unique ways. Hungry for Progress? Enacting Food Sovereignty is a qualitative research project that embraces notions of positionality and reflexivity and shares my journey of living this research. Through exploring the food sovereignty narratives and worldviews, I seek to promote empowerment among individuals and organisations through constructing knowledge that supports postcolonial, feminist and activist interactions so that good change in the food system (and beyond) may become a reality.

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  • Who is 'New Zealand'? Publics in Aotearoa/New Zealand General Election Discourse

    Anderson, Ian (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    2011 saw the lowest voter turnout in Aotearoa/New Zealand since women won the right to vote (Vowles, 2014). This decline in participation aligns with trends elsewhere in the Anglosphere (Ailes, 2015; Hansard, 2015). This organic crisis poses new questions for notions of the ‘public sphere’ and ‘publics’ – the forms of political engagement with citizens in a mass-mediated society. Fraser (1990) contends that in theorising the “limits of actually existing late capitalist democracy” (p. 57), we need a notion of pluralised and contesting ‘publics’ (ibid). The project asks how political parties named the 'public' (or publics) in the 2011 and 2014 Aotearoa / New Zealand General Elections. In order to consider the dominance of these political articulations, research will also consider whether these invocations of 'the public' found coverage in the national press. This is not intended as a sociological examination of actually existing publics, but an examination of dominant encoding (Hall, 2001). This analysis tests the thesis that dominant cross-partisan electoral discourses defined the 'public' in terms of dual identification with productive work and capital, in opposition to named subaltern publics. This formulation suggests that workers are called to identify with capital, following from Gramsci’s (2011) theorisation of bourgeois hegemony. Research begins with a content analysis of party press releases and mainstream coverage during the 2011 & 2014 General Elections, when official discourses hailing 'the public' are intensified. Content analysis quantifies nouns used for publics – for example, 'taxpayer', 'New Zealander', or even 'the public'. From this content analysis, the project proceeds to a critical discourse analysis, which seeks to historically contextualise and explain the patterns in content. Reworking Ernesto Laclau's (2005a) theorisation of populism to factor in the left/right axis (which Laclau considered outmoded), this critical discourse analysis considers what 'public' alliances are articulated, and what political programmes these articulations serve.

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  • Innovative and nontraditional revenue generation in New Zealand museums

    Abernethy, Anna (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Improving income in museums around the world is vitally important and New Zealand museums are no exception. There is little literature in Museum Studies offering practical strategies for fundraising, with much research focusing on the morality of revenue sources rather than best practice. Research in other disciplines on museum revenue has been problematic as the theories it has attempted to apply are not always applicable. There has also been little research on the local dynamics of revenue generation, and there is therefore an urgent need for practice based research on this topic, such as data for comparative analysis of revenue sources. Responding to gaps in the current literature this thesis analysed innovative and nontraditional revenue generation in three Wellington museums. Innovative and nontraditional revenue encompasses programs, partnering, fundraising, museum-operated businesses, venue hire, museum and third-party websites, phone applications for smartphones, crowdsourcing and e-commerce. Pragmatism provides the research paradigm for this empirical study into current professional practice. The paradigm was enhanced by several concepts including Hansen and Birkinshaw’s, Innovation Value Chain. To examine the local museum situation, data was gathered from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa; the New Zealand Cricket Museum; and Pātaka Art + Museum. Semi-structured interviews with key staff and revenue records were analysed following qualitative and quantitative methods. There were several key findings which highlighted the direct and indirect benefits of innovative and nontraditional revenue. External partnerships, museum staff and volunteers were highlighted as crucial for revenue viability. Ethics and perceptions of revenue also affected revenue generation. Overall the research enhances our knowledge of museum economics in the New Zealand context. I argue that commercial operations need to be integrated into museum practice and that the benefits of this approach should be demonstrated to all staff. Finally, several recommendations are made which I believe will enhance the future practice of revenue generation in New Zealand museums.

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