82,054 results

  • New Zealand farm computer users : their maturing attitudes and characteristics

    Nuthall, P. L.; Benbow, C.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    On-farm computing is increasingly becoming an integral part of farm decision systems. To aid the development of appropriate systems and their efficient use it is important to understand the changing farm computing scene. The study reported here contributes to these objectives in the New Zealand case. The situation is likely to be similar to other western countries. The basis of the study was data from a postal survey over summer 1997/98, together with the results from previous similar surveys. The postal survey of 3,021 randomly selected New Zealand primary producers enabled exploring the penetration of on-farm computers and details of their use. The response rate (49.5 %) was exceptional with 1,437 valid replies being received by the mid-April 1998 cut-off date. Computer penetration was 42.72% of the sample compared with 6% in 1986 and 24.40% in 1993. The comguter farms tend to be larger than non-computer farms, the managers tend to have higher levels of formal education, they tend to be younger, and they tend to be involved in more off-farm businesses. From ownership/intended ownership details it appears the uptake rate is probably at a maximum. Computer use is around 20 hours per month with word processing, financial recording and analysis as well as financial budgeting continuing to be the important uses. The farm manager and his or her spouse are the main business use operators (78.5%). Most users (89%) believe a comguter is an economic investment. Of increasing importance is the use of the Internet with some 3 hours/month spent on Intemet access and communication. Currently 28% of computer users have a connection, but a further 40% indicate they will connect in the next two years. E-mail is the main use of the Internet but entertainment and fun as well as technical information gathering are important uses. Some 47% believe the Internet is valuable or better with 37% still being neutral or undecided. Generally, there are few differences when the data is divided by farm type, suggesting most managers view a computer similarly for all production types. Of major significance is the conclusion that computer owners and non-owners are not inherently different in their objectives. While further work on a wider range of variables is necessary, this suggests training programmes and software need not be markedly different for each group.

    View record details
  • Off-farm investment in financial assets as a risk response for New Zealand sheep and beef farms

    Nartea, G. V.; Pellegrino, J. M.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    Off-farm investment as a risk management strategy is not particularly popular among New Zealand sheep and beef farmers. This study explores the potential reduction in risk by diversifying farm asset portfolios to include financial investments. Portfolio analysis revealed that the negative correlation between rates of return on farm assets and shares found in the study could result in a risk reduction of as much as 20% by converting 16 to 25% of the farm investment portfolio into shares. These findings indicate that off- farm investment could be an important risk response for farmers.

    View record details
  • Organic farming in Thailand : case studies on fruit and flower production in Chiangmai, Thailand

    Dechachete, T.; Nuthall, P. L.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The purpose of this study was to examine organic horticultural production in Chiangmai, Thailand, through discovering the farmers' objectives, economic performance, as well as elucidating other impacts including social and environmental effects. Interviews and available data were used to gather information from the people in three villages which were selected as case studies. Forty-five farmers from three categories, chemical-free vegetable farming (CFA), mixed agriculture (MA) and conventional agriculture (CA), were interviewed. The 'chemical-free' farming (CFA) was not strictly totally chemical-free, but the intention is to minimise artificial chemical use. The study found that profit maximisation was the first priority in all production categories. Lower CFA production costs were also a reason for farmers to move away from CA. Few farmers seriously realised the social and environmental impacts caused by conventional farming. However, CFA farmers tended to be more concerned about their health and environment than CA farmers. The economic comparisons indicated that the running costs of CFA farming were less than the running costs of CA farming. The economic and the social cost comparison results varied among the research sites. It could not be concluded that the economic and the social costs of CFA farming were less than for CA farming. Nor could it be concluded that CFA farming gains a higher net farm income than CA farming. However, the study suggested that the net farm income of the CFA farms was greater when the CFA farmers could sell their produce at a reasonable price. In one research site, the negative social net farm income finding indicated that the government CFA promotion project had failed. Social comparisons between CFA and CA methods showed CFA results in education and health benefits in comparison to conventional agriculture. Finally, the environmental comparisons found that CFA had beneficial impacts on the farm environment. The farmers realised that the use of artificial agricultural chemicals resulted in decreases in local wildlife quantity and variety, and they actually noted that CFA seemed to have positive effects on these variables.

    View record details
  • Estimating the number of visitors to Kaikoura over one year by developing a vehicle observation method

    Fairweather, J. R.; Simmons, D. G.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The annual total of visitors to Kaikoura was estimated at 873,000. This number was derived from a method that involved four key steps: counting all traffic entering Kaikoura, observing a sample of vehicles to record licence plates and the number of people in each vehicle, identifying vehicles from outside of Kaikoura, and then estimating all visitor vehicle numbers and numbers of visitors.

    View record details
  • Summertime visitors to Kaikoura : characteristics, attractions and activities

    Simmons, D. G.; Horn, C.; Fairweather, J. R.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    This report presents an analysis of summertime visitors to Kaikoura. Detailed information is presented on descriptive visitor characteristics, the attractions of Kaikoura, and activities undertaken, for a systematic sample of visitors in January and February 1998. For short stop visitors (those staying less than two hours), Kaikoura primarily fills the role of a 'convenient break' (79.7 per cent of first choice of attraction to Kaikoura). The core of this group comprises domestic (New Zealand) visitors (75 per cent) engaging in more extensive trips. While average expenditure per person per visit is relatively low (estimated at $2.40 per visitor) some activities are undertaken, including 15.6 per cent who visit the Kaikoura Information Tourism Inc. (KITI) visitor centre. This activity alone indicates a wider interest in Kaikoura, and signifies a potential for increasing length of stay or repeat visitation. Short stop visitors represent a large group – 43.5 per cent of all visitation or an estimated 380,000 visitors annually. Day visitors to Kaikoura (those staying more than two hours, but not overnight) are numerically the smallest of the three visitor groups. Visitors' numbers are estimated at 137,000 annually. For these visitors, Kaikoura is a specific destination as evidenced by their high interest in whale watching (48.1 per cent) and visiting the seal colony (43.6 per cent). Engagement in commercial activities and supporting industries lifts daily average daily per person expenditure for this group to $47.50 the highest of all three groups. Overnight visitors to Kaikoura, (those staying one or more nights) are mainly international tourists who make up seven of eight overnight visitors. Overnight visitors are estimated at 356,000 annually. Average length of stay is reported as 1.8 days. Within this pattern, domestic tourists tend to stay for shorter periods. Lower cost forms of accommodation (backpackers and motor camps) are used mostly, while commercial activities (whale watching and swimming/viewing dolphins especially) provide the key focus for commercial activity. Informal activities (visiting the seal colony, (63 per cent); and the visitor centre; (77.4 per cent) are nonetheless important to their overall experience in Kaikoura. These activities are paced throughout their visit to indicate an average daily per person expenditure of $45.73. Indices of satisfaction, measured as willingness to refer Kaikoura to others, and/or to re-visit, indicate high overall satisfaction by visitors of their experience in Kaikoura.

    View record details
  • Evolution and change in Kaikoura : responses to tourism development

    Horn, C.; Simmons, D.; Fairweather, J.

    Report
    Lincoln University

    The primary focus of this report is on the way that tourism has affected the Kaikoura community and how that community has adapted to the changes that tourism has brought. As research progressed, it became obvious that the social structure of the community and the historical context have a direct bearing on both the way that tourism has developed and the way that the impacts are felt. Tourism, particularly international tourism, is the most recent form of resource development in Kaikoura. It developed against a backdrop of large economic and social changes which occurred across New Zealand and, indeed, all over the world. It has proved difficult to separate the impacts of tourism from the impacts of other changes such as the decline of the public sector, technological change, the renewal of Maori cultural identity, the changes in environmental legislation, and changes in the roles and responsibilities of local government. All of these things have come to the fore during the last 15 years and they are linked in the minds of local people to each other and to the development of tourism in Kaikoura. In this context, tourism itself is an adaptation to the effects of restructuring at the same time as it creates impacts to which the local community have to adapt. Thus, tourism is just another form of resource use in a long line of resource uses in Kaikoura such as farming, fishing and forestry and is both a cause and an effect of change.

    View record details
  • The impact of tourism on the Māori community in Kaikoura

    Poharama, A.; Henley, M.; Smith, A.; Fairweather, J. R.; Simmons, D. G.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The objectives of this report were to describe and evaluate the interaction between Kaikoura Māori, their culture and tourism. To achieve these objectives a cross section of the Māori community was canvassed to reflect both age and gender differences and iwi and hapu affiliations. The report presents a comprehensive coverage of the Kaikoura Māori community, tracing their history and development, identifying events that have influenced and impacted upon them, and outlining their participation in tourism. Research results are presented in terms of Māori perceptions of tourism. Most respondents shared a strong commitment to ensuring that their cultural heritage is kept intact and this report reflects that commitment by freely using Māori terms. Respondents also shared a strong desire to be involved in all aspects of the tourism industry, so that their priorities are recognised, their views heard, and their knowledge taken into account.

    View record details
  • Visitor decision making, on-site spatial behaviours, cognitive maps and destination perceptions : a case study of Kaikoura

    Moore, K.; Simmons, D.; Fairweather, J.

    Report
    Lincoln University

    Understanding visitor decision making, on-site spatial behaviours, cognitive maps and destination perceptions enhances understandings of the way in which tourism and visitors impact upon local communities. It should also suggest dimensions along which visitor behaviour could be modified in line with policy goals and planning strategies in such a way that outcomes are made more predictable. This is a central issue for many communities within New Zealand which are either already involved in tourism to varying degrees or may be considering such involvement. Only by having a thorough understanding of visitors and their behaviours can this issue be addressed. To this end, the case study reported here of visitors to Kaikoura indicates how policy and development goals can be clarified through increased understanding of the visitors themselves.

    View record details
  • Understanding visitors' and locals' experiences of Rotorua using photographs of landscapes and Q method

    Fairweather, J. R.; Swaffield, S. R.; Simmons, D. G.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The objective of this study was to develop an understanding of visitors' and locals' experiences of the Rotorua landscape using photographs of landscape and Q method. The interest in landscape experience reflects the central role that both passive and active involvement in landscape plays in the Rotorua tourism industry. The selection of photographs for Q sorting was based on three sampling frames including landforms, features and attractions, and activities. There were significant groupings of preferred experience which reflects both generic marketing of geothermal and Maori attractions and the presence of distinctive preferences attracted to new facilities and hydrological features. Some of the factors highlight the continuity in the aesthetic values that underpin Rotorua. Least preferred settings included exotic forestry and commercial signs, the former raising issues for the management of forestry. Comparisons to an earlier study of visitors in Kaikoura shows some similar factors. Finally, theoretical and policy implications are briefly noted.

    View record details
  • Diurnal fluctuations of dissolved nitrous oxide (N₂O) concentrations and estimates of N₂O emissions from a spring-fed river: implications for IPCC methodology

    Clough, Timothy J.; Buckthought, Laura; Sherlock, Robert R.; Kelliher, Francis M.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    There is uncertainty in the estimates of indirect nitrous oxide (N₂O) emissions as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The uncertainty is due to the challenge and dearth of in situ measurements. Recent work in a subtropical stream system has shown the potential for diurnal variability to influence the downstream N transfer, N form, and estimates of in-stream N₂O production. Studies in temperate stream systems have also shown diurnal changes in stream chemistry. The objectives of this study were to measure N₂O fluxes and dissolved N₂O concentrations from a spring-fed temperate river to determine if diurnal cycles were occurring. The study was performed during a 72 hour period, over a 180m reach, using headspace chamber methodology. Significant diurnal cycles were observed in radiation, river temperature and chemistry including dissolved N₂O-N concentrations. These data were used to further assess the IPCC methodology and experimental methodology used. River NO₃-N and N₂O-N concentrations averaged 3.0 mg L⁻¹ and 1.6 µg L⁻¹ respectively, with N₂O saturation reaching a maximum of 664%. The N₂O-N fluxes, measured using chamber methodology, ranged from 52-140 µg m⁻² h⁻¹ while fluxes predicted using the dissolved N₂O concentration ranged from 13-25 µg m⁻² h⁻¹. The headspace chamber methodology may have enhanced the measured N₂O flux and this is discussed. Diurnal cycles in N₂O % saturation were not large enough to influence downstream N transfer or N form with variability in measured N₂O fluxes greater and more significant than diurnal variability in N₂O % saturation. The measured N₂O fluxes, extrapolated over the study reach area, represented only 6x10⁻⁴ percent of the NO₃-N that passed through the study reach over a 72 h period. This is only 0.1% of the IPCC calculated flux.

    View record details
  • Dynamics of nitrous oxide in groundwater at the aquatic-terrestrial interface

    Clough, Timothy J.; Addy, K.; Kellog, D.; Nowicki, B.; Gold, A.; Groffman, P.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Few data are available to validate the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's emission factors for indirect emissions of nitrous oxide (N₂O). In particular the N₂O emissions resulting from nitrogen leaching and the associated groundwater and surface drainage (EF5-g) are particularly poorly characterized. In situ push-pull methods have been used to identify the fate of NO₃⁻ in the groundwater. In this study, we adapted a previously published in situ denitrification push-pull method to examine the fate of ¹⁵N₂O introduced into the subsoil-groundwater matrix. Enriched ¹⁵N₂O was manufactured, added to groundwater via a closed system in the laboratory, and then introduced into the groundwater-subsoil matrix in an upland-marsh transition zone of a salt marsh and a forested alluvial riparian zone. Conservative tracers (SF₆ and Br⁻) and ¹⁵N₂O were injected into the groundwater and left for 1-4 h after which the groundwater was sampled. Added ¹⁵N₂O behaved in a conservative manner at one site while the other site showed variability with some injections showing significant consumption (3-8 µg N₂O-¹⁵N kg⁻¹ soil d⁻¹) of ¹⁵N₂O. Our results show that the fate and dynamics of N₂O in groundwater are complex and variable and that these dynamics should be considered in the development of improved IPCC inventory calculations.

    View record details
  • Tourism and Maori development in Rotorua

    Tahana, N.; Grant, K. T. O. K.; Simmons, D. G.; Fairweather, J. R.

    Book
    Lincoln University

    The objective of this study was to develop an understanding of tourism and Maori development in Rotorua. The research process followed recognised protocols typical of culturally appropriate research and was sensitive to the historic context of Te Arawa in Rotorua. The research was based on three main sources of data: surveys of Maori tourism operators and Maori in the community, focus group discussion with Maori in the community, and interviews with hapu (sub-tribe) representatives. An historical account of the development of Maori in tourism provided context for the contemporary situation. Current Maori tourism operators cover a wide range of tourism businesses, most market themselves as Maori tourism businesses and the majority have been in operation less than 11 years. Most have relatively low financial turnover and nearly all feature some aspect of Maori culture in their tourism business. Maori respondents reported both good and bad effects from tourism, with some seeing tourism as promoting their culture and self-determination, and others seeing it as disempowering. There was similar ambivalence regarding Maori adaptation to tourism, however most respondents considered that Maori had adapted well to cultural performances and guiding. Generally, most respondents believed that the presentation of Maori culture has changed over time to cater for tourism demands but not in ways that significantly affects the practice of Maori culture. Maori respondents were divided in their opinion about the effect of tourism on their relationship with the environment especially with respect to Wairuatanga (spirituality) and Mana Whenua (authority over the land). Some were concerned about ownership and control of natural resources and were seeking greater input into their management. The presentation of Maori culture was seen by a majority of respondents as a misrepresentation. There were concerns about relevance, consultation, control and authenticity. The report makes a number of recommendations to encourage Maori tourism business.

    View record details
  • Corporate reputation: Ontology and measurement

    Lloyd, Stephen (2008-09-24T22:19:06Z)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The focus of this research is on the development of ontology and on a more effective way to measure corporate reputation that takes into consideration the orientations of a company’s various stakeholders. The focus by researchers and by practitioners on corporate reputation and on its management attests to an expanding interest. Yet there remains disparate knowledge about how corporate reputation should be defined; about what are its key components; about the relationships between those components and about how corporate reputation should be measured. This point to a need for clarification: to develop a methodology based on ontology of corporate reputation that has relevance for a company’s various stakeholder groups. This research builds on a review of the academic literature and employs text analysis, the nominal group technique and a quantitative survey among stakeholders about the reputation of a high profile company. Theory-driven analysis provides insights into the corporate reputation construct and into a tool for measurement that takes into consideration stakeholder perceptions of a company’s reputation. The results of the study indicate that, in the eyes of its stakeholders, a company’s reputation is driven by nine factors: image, identity, management leadership, performance, corporate brand, products and services, financial performance, ethical management and leadership, and corporate leadership. Not all nine components share the same degree of relevance for stakeholders: different stakeholder groups rank the importance of the components of corporate reputation differently; they evaluate the reputation of the same company differently. The drivers of stakeholders’ overall evaluations of a company’s reputation vary by stakeholder segment. Stakeholder groups are seen to display the characteristics of segments.

    View record details
  • Entrepreneurs and organisations: a case study of the Gisborne aquaculture cluster

    Johnstone, Bruce Alexander (2008-09-29T02:36:04Z)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research contributes to the discussion surrounding New Zealand’s entrepreneurial environment and Innovation Framework and addresses the research problem of whether the New Zealand government should seek to support entrepreneurship and innovation through the various knowledge-based or regulatory organisations it owns or funds, and if so, how it should go about accomplishing this. The approach taken was to use qualitative methods to examine how the government’s support for entrepreneurship and innovation was delivered to an emerging cluster of entrepreneurs from the point of view of those entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs were involved in the innovative industry of land-based aquaculture and fieldwork was carried out in the Gisborne Region, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. This study began by reviewing relevant literature from academic, industry and government sources to identify relevant sub-themes and create a framework for analysis. Fieldwork was undertaken using ethnographic methods to explore how the entrepreneurs experienced the New Zealand entrepreneurial environment and innovation framework in their interactions with knowledge-based and regulatory organisations. Data was gathered primarily by participant observation and semi-structured interviews and transcripts were coded and analysed using NVivo® software. An ethnographic narrative was produced and the interview transcripts analysed for relevance to the sub-themes from literature and to identify patterns that emerged from the data. This research reports that four of the entrepreneurs failed in their ventures due to a combination of factors both within their operations and within the entrepreneurial environment. These factors included technical difficulties maintaining livestock health and growth within an artificial marine environment, an inability to obtain assistance from knowledge-based organisations, problems in dealing with regulatory organisations, difficulty retaining trained staff, uncertainty about the market, and high energy costs. The Māori training organisation, Turanga Ararau, formed the Gisborne Aquaculture Society in an effort to establish a Gisborne aquaculture cluster however, this initiative proved unsuccessful primarily because the society failed to attract the 12 involvement of key stakeholders. This research contributes to the policy and practice of cluster facilitation by examining the extent to which best practice was followed in this attempt to establish a cluster and presents conclusions as to how the process of establishing the cluster could have been improved. This study also reports that the entrepreneurs were cut off from access to knowledge and research resources and received little advice or support from the knowledge based organisations that might have played a role in the development of their cluster. It examines how and why New Zealand’s Innovation Framework might be failing to recognise and support the vital role of entrepreneurs in economic development and suggests how this might be improved. The methodology chapters of this thesis contribute to literature regarding the use of ethnographic methods in entrepreneurship research and a further by-product of this thesis is an ethnographic account of the participant observation and semi structured interviews with the entrepreneurs. This research also provides an insight into the obstacles and challenges faced by entrepreneurs in New Zealand, in particular those involved in the emerging recirculating aquaculture industry.

    View record details
  • A phenomenological and thematic interpretation of the experience of creativity

    Bellingham, Robin (2008-11-10T02:48:10Z)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Creativity is a nebulous concept, lacking both clear articulations and common understandings of meaning. Due to a lack of clear alternatives the concept of creativity is increasingly becoming infused with economically driven vocabulary, associations, interests and ideologies. There is an immediate need to provide alternatives to the „creative economy‟ view of creativity, because of its insidious effect on educational institutions and practices and because it promotes a generally impoverished view of the meaning of creativity and of human potential. Reductionist thought; the tendency to understand concepts as separate and distinct from one another prevents us from easily conceptualising an experience such as creativity which involves the simultaneous experience of seemingly paradoxical elements such as individuality and unity, intellect and intuition and freedom and discipline. Democracy is a metaphor which can help to articulate and understand the paradoxical experience of creativity. Democracy stands for the potential to make meaning from the integrated exploration of individuality and of unity, which I argue is a fundamental dynamic of the creative experience. I further suggest that the essence of the creative experience is a democratic attunement to existence, in which subject and object, self and environment, intellect and intuition and freedom and discipline are experienced as in a democratic relationship with one another. This way of understanding creativity provides an alternative to the creative economy view. It implies some significant changes to traditional educational emphases, including a movement away from primarily individualistically oriented curricula and toward curricula and educational values which situate the individual within an integrated eco-system.

    View record details
  • Backpackers: the next generation?

    Markward, Anne (2008-11-12T01:53:00Z)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    New Zealand has a well-established network of accommodations, transportation, and visitor activities developed specifically for backpackers. These tourists account for almost ten percent of the country’s international visitor expenditure. To date, the majority of backpacker research has focussed on the traditional market segment of student and youth travellers, though a few quantitative studies have also researched the needs and preferences of older travellers using hostels and backpackers’ accommodations. Though more than 50 percent of New Zealand’s international visitors are over age 40, few currently stay at this type of accommodation. Using New Zealand as a case study, this thesis explores, qualitatively, the perspectives of older backpackers: their self-perceptions, their travel motivations, their needs and expectations in accommodation. In addition, it examines the points of view of the owners of small, independent backpackers’ accommodations to gain their perspectives on hosting a multi-generational clientele and on what the implications might be of expanding this market. Key findings show that older travellers who use backpackers’ accommodations technically meet all Pearce’s (1990) original definitions of “backpacker” – they prefer budget accommodations, they are socially interactive, they travel independently and flexibly, they travel for longer holidays than do most, and they choose informal and participatory activities. However, these travellers reject the self-definition of “backpacker”, an impasse that presents a lexical challenge to both scholars and tourism marketers. The final section addresses the impacts and implications of “backpacker” nomenclature on baby boomer travellers, academia, and the backpacker industry at large.

    View record details
  • Systematics of the Onychoteuthidae Gray, 1847 (Cephalopoda: Oegopsida)

    Bolstad, Kathrin S. (2008-09-25T05:32:56Z)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Squids in the family Onychoteuthidae Gray, 1847 have been reported from every ocean but the Arctic, are taken frequently in deep-sea fisheries by catch, and are ecologically important in the diets of many marine predators including cetaceans, pinnipeds, sharks, and seabirds. However, the diversity and systematic of the family have remained poorly understood. Of the 60+ nominal species, 12–14 have generally been accepted in recent studies. Challenges to clarity include insufficient species descriptions, original descriptions published in eight languages and often based solely on early life stages, non-designation or subsequent loss of type material, and the existence of several unresolved species complexes. In light of the general systematic disarray of the Onychoteuthidae, a global revision of the family follows, based on ~1500 specimens examined from 19 repositories. Type material has been examined wherever possible; for some species, photographs of type specimens, original illustrations, and/or the original descriptions have provided the only information available. It has not been possible to fully disambiguate taxa in some cases (e.g. Gen. nov. 2), given the limited material and information available, but for all species treated in this revision (25 out of 26 species; no material was available for Kondakovia nigmatullini), descriptions and illustrations are provided to a consistent standard that will enable their reidentification. External and internal morphological characters and states are described for sub adult to adult stages of most species, with external characters reported through ontogeny as permitted by available material. Historically important characters are treated (general external morphology, body proportions, tentacle clubs, photophores, gladius, lower beak, radula), augmented by several more recently recognised characters (palatine teeth, detailed morphology of the tentacular hooks in adults, tentacular suckers in paralarvae, chromatophore patterns). The systematic value of both historical and new morphological characters at the generic and species levels are discussed; at all ontogenetic stages, tentacular club and hook morphology are considered the most valuable characters, although body proportions and gladius also prove useful. Partial disambiguation of the Onychoteuthis banksii complex has been possible in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, resulting in the resurrection of Onychoteuthis bergii Lichtenstein, 1818 and Onychoteuthis aequimanus Gabb, 1868, the description of two new species, Onychoteuthis lacrima and Onychoteuthis prolata (in press), and the expansion of one species’ recognised distribution (Onychoteuthis compacta) to include the Atlantic Ocean. The genus Moroteuthis Verrill, 1881 is considered a junior synonym of Onykia Lesueur, 1821, in accordance with the findings of several earlier authors. However, morphological differences in the species ‘Moroteuthis’ ingens necessitate the resurrection of the subgenus Moroteuthopsis Pfeffer, 1908b, with all other Onykia species placed into a new subgenus, Onykia (Onykia). Sexual dimorphism is reported in the beaks of Onykia (Moroteuthopsis) ingens (new comb.), and revised sex-specific equations are given for estimating this species’ biomass based on LRL. Morphological and historical genetic data suggest a more distant relationship between Onykia and the species ‘Moroteuthis’ knipovitchi Filippova, 1972 than was suggested by earlier classifications. This species is therefore considered to represent an undescribed genus, herein referred to as Gen. Nov. 1, which cannot be more fully diagnosed and described at present due to limited material. The generic position of ‘Onykia’ rancureli (Okutani, 1981) is also uncertain; it may be allied to Walvisteuthis virilis Nesis & Nikitina, 1986 (family Walvisteuthidae Nesis & Nikitina, 1986), but confirmation is impossible without examining type material of W. virilis. A second new genus, Gen. Nov. 2, is therefore described for ‘Onykia’ rancureli and several morphological variants reported from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Given that the majority of available onychoteuthid material was collected after 1950, resulting in the descriptions of over half of the generally accepted genera and species since 1960, ongoing collection programmes are necessary to further resolve onychoteuthid systematic.

    View record details
  • Physical activity and obesity in children: measurement, associations, and recommendations

    Duncan, Scott (2008-11-06T23:38:14Z)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Widespread increases in the prevalence of childhood obesity have raised the prospect of serious public health consequences in many countries. New Zealand is no exception; according to the most recent national estimates, approximately one in three children is overweight or obese. As a consequence, an understanding of the specific risk factors that predict this condition in children is becoming increasingly important. It is generally accepted that the promotion of physical activity is a key strategy for reducing the risk of childhood obesity. However, there is limited information describing physical activity and its relationship with body fatness in young New Zealanders. The overall aim of this thesis was to gain insight into the associations between excess fatness and physical activity in New Zealand children from a diverse range of socio-demographic groups. Three related studies were conducted to achieve this aim: a large descriptive survey of obesity and physical activity patterns in primary-aged children, and two preceding studies which develop the methodology for objective assessment of physical activity in this population. The first study provided the only validation data for the NL-2000 multiday memory (MDM) pedometer in children. In a sample of 85 participants aged 5-7 and 9-11 years, the NL-2000 offered similar accuracy and better precision than the widely used SW-200 pedometer (NL-2000: mean bias = -8.5 ± 13.3%; SW-200: mean bias = -8.6 ± 14.7%). The second study investigated reactivity to wearing pedometers over four 24-hour testing periods in 62 children aged 5-11 years. The sample was divided into two groups: one was given a full explanation of the function of the pedometer, while the other received no information prior to testing. The absence of significant differences in step counts between the first and last test periods indicated that there was no evidence of reactivity to this device for either preparation procedure. The central study presented in this thesis was the measurement of physical activity, body composition, and dietary patterns in 1,226 children aged 5-12 years, from which four chapters (4-7) were derived. The sample was ethnically diverse, with 46.8% European, 33.1% Polynesian, 15.9% Asian, and 4.1% from other ethnicities. Physical activity levels over three weekdays and two weekend days were assessed using NL 2000 pedometers. Percentage body fat (%BF) was determined using hand-to-foot bioelectrical impedance analysis with a prediction equation previously developed for New Zealand children. Waist and hip girths, height, and weight were measured using standard anthropometric techniques. Parent proxy questionnaires were used to assess demographic and lifestyle factors and pedometer compliance. The first reported analyses of this dataset (Chapter 4) examined the effect of weather conditions on children’s activity levels. In boys, a 10ºC rise in ambient temperature was associated with a 10.5% increase in weekday steps and a 26.4% increase in weekend steps. Equivalent temperature changes affected girls’ step counts on weekdays only (16.2% increase). Precipitation also had a substantial impact, with decreases in weekday and weekend step counts during moderate rainfall ranging from 8.3% to 16.3% across all sex, age, and socioeconomic (SES) groups. The aim of Chapter 5 was to understand the relationship between children’s step counts and their body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and %BF. Mean step counts for this sample were 16,133 ± 3,864 (boys) and 14,124 ± 3,286 (girls) on weekdays, and 12,702 ± 5,048 (boys) and 11,158 ± 4,309 (girls) on weekends. Significant associations were detected between steps.day-1 and both WC and %BF, but not between steps.day-1 and BMI. The findings in Chapter 6 extended these results by estimating the number of steps required to reduce the risk of excess adiposity in children (16,000 and 13,000 steps.day-1 for boys and girls, respectively). Finally, the study described in Chapter 7 examined the associations between excess adiposity and a series of demographic and lifestyle variables, providing the first assessment of body fat correlates in young New Zealanders. Our results indicated that children aged 11-12 years were 15.4 times more likely to be overfat (boys, %BF ≥ 25%; girls, %BF ≥ 30%) than those aged 5-6 years. In addition, the odds of overfat were 1.8 times greater in Asian children than in European children, and 2.7 times greater in the low SES group when compared with the high SES group. Three modifiable behaviours related to fat status were also identified: low physical activity, skipping breakfast, and insufficient sleep on weekdays. Clustering of these risk factors resulted in a cumulative increase in the prevalence of overfat.

    View record details
  • Ko Marouna te toa: The effects of the Cook Islands public sector reform on the delivery of education

    Puna, Repeta (2008-09-26T00:25:57Z)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The effects of the public sector reform impacted on all aspects of public services including the performance of the economy. Central to this argument was the re-organization of the operations of the public service from the traditional administration system to the new public management (NPM). Education, a critical service in any economy was not spared. Literatures around the application of NPM (a derivative of market principles and practices) to education (which was value based) suggested that NPM was dangerous for education and could deplete the value system of education and replace that with a focus on accounting for money by individuals who were self-interested and who would seek to maximize their benefit with guile. Arguments against NPM suggested that the human factor was neglected and that education had led to chaos among professionals, stakeholders and students. However, those who argued for the introduction of NPM suggested that it had made the provision of education more efficient, effective and relevant to the needs to the clients. It held those working in the education sector accountable for the resources used and made the system more responsive to the needs of the clients of education. Education in the Cook Islands experienced many changes since western type education was introduced by the Missionaries in the late 1800s. Cook Islands people have always regarded education as a right and also believed their participation in education would improve their lives as well as positively contribute to economic growth. As the public sector reform was a global phenomenon, the currents of NPM also converged on the Cook Islands and affected the delivery of education. Those changes revolutionalized education in ways that was not commonplace in the Cook Islands. However, professionals and stakeholders within education made the most of the system and diverged some of the practices to suit the need, the environment and the culture of the Cook Islands people. Change also refocused education from teachers teaching to student learning reinforcing the dedication of many teachers and education administrators to ensure NPM served the best interest of their clients; the students, despite the workload placed on them. The challenge in this thesis was to understand how the NPM system affected education and how the Cook Islands education professionals worked within the system in their favour. The stories of teachers and Ministry of Education professionals demonstrated that there was no resistance to the application of NPM system in the Cook Islands. In fact, the system was embraced by the education sector suggesting it was a positive change from their previous system of traditional administration. Much of their system was inherited from New Zealand where the environment, layers of bureaucracy and economic status of the country was different. Instead, it appeared the Cook Islands took much of what others deemed as dangerous for education and turned it into a positive opportunity for the Cook Islands education. This thesis presents the story of the revolution in the Cook Island education system.

    View record details
  • Use of yeast species as the biocomponent for priority environmental contaminants biosensor devices

    Gurazada, Saroja (2008-11-06T23:46:24Z)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Along with an increasing understanding of the harmful effects on the environment of a wide range of pollutants has come the need for more sensitive, faster and less expensive detection methods of identification and quantitation. Many environmental pollutants occur in low levels and often in complex matrices thus analysis can be difficult, time consuming and costly. Because of the availability and easy cultivation of the microorganisms with potentially high specificity, there is considerable interest in the use of living microorganisms as the analytical component (the biocomponent) of sensors for pollutants. While a number of biosensors using bacteria have been developed, yeast has been comparatively rarely used as the biocomponent. Yeast are attractive because they are easy to culture and they are eukaryotes which means their biochemistry is in many respects closer to that of higher organisms. This thesis describes the development of whole cell bioassays that use yeast cells as a sensing element and redox mediators to probe the intracellular redox reactions to monitor the catabolic activity of the yeast resulting from the external substrate, steady-state voltammetry is utilised as the electrochemical detection technique. The isogenic differential enzyme analysis (IDEA) concept of Lincoln Ventures Limited, lead NERF funded research consortium uses bacteria that have been cultured using specific organic pollutants as the carbon source which are the biocomponent in sensors. The use of wild type yeast Arxula adeninivorans that has the ability to use a very wide variety of substrates as sources of carbon and nitrogen was used as an alternative to bacteria to validate the “IDEA” concept. Naphthalene and di-butyl phthalate were chosen as model target contaminant molecules. The performance, detection limits and the usefulness of yeast based biosensor applications for environmental analysis are discussed. This thesis also describes the development and optimisation of a simple, cost effective in vivo estrogens bioassay for the detection of estrogens using either genetically modified or a wild type yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In this study, catabolic repression by glucose was exploited to achieve specificity to estrogens in complex environmental samples that eliminates the requirement for conventional sample preparation. This is the first time that the use of wild type yeast to quantify estrogens has been reported. The attractive features of the bioassay are its use of a non-GMO organism, its speed, its high specificity and sensitivity with a detection limit of 10-15 M. The similarity of binding affinities for major estrogens to those of human estrogens receptors makes this in vivo estrogen bioassay very useful for analytical/screening procedures. The electrochemical detection method also makes it easy to interface with a variety of electronic devices.

    View record details