80,754 results

  • Have your cake and eat it too : the treatment of contemporaneous relationships under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976

    Reid, Adrianne Nicola (2007)

    Honours Dissertation thesis
    University of Otago

    Although it is clear from the Act that a person can be in more than one qualifying relationship at a time, the courts have shown themselves to be reluctant to recognise contemporaneous relationships as falling within the ambit of the Act. Because of this, contemporaneous relationships will only be recognised where it is abundantly clear that the parties are living together as a couple. Sections 52A and 52B are designed to divide property between relationships, and do not override the usual rules governing the division of relationship property between the partners in a relationship. Sections 52A and 52B will apply after the court finds that the relationship property of contemporaneous relationships overlap, and they will only apply to those pieces of property which are found to be relationship property of both relationships. The first limb of the rule in sections 52A and 52B will be redundant as all property that is relationship property of a relationship is attributable to that relationship. Property which is relationship property of both relationships will be divided between the relationships in accordance with their respective contributions to its acquisition. Sections 52A and 52B work to the advantage of the common partner, leaving them with half of the total relationship property. Because sections 52A and 52B only apply if the court has made findings in respect of each relationship, it is to the advantage of the common partner to litigate both disputes simultaneously, rather than undergo successive settlements with each partner. Sections 52A and 52B can also be used to manipulate the outcome where only one of the relationships has ended, or, in the case of the common partners' death, where one of the partners has an interest in retaining as much of the relationship property as possible between themselves and the deceased common partners estate. Given the difficulties in applying sections 52A and 52B, and their fairly arbitrary outcome, they would be better replaced with an unambiguous provision which allocated specified shares to the relationships on a more objective basis. [Extract from Introduction]

    View record details
  • Associations between dietary electrolytes and pulse wave velocity

    Lewis, Victoria (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a non-invasive measure of arterial stiffness, and a recognised predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Given this, it is likely that investigating the determinants of PWV will improve our understanding of cardiovascular health. At present, there is disagreement regarding the relationship between dietary sodium and potassium intakes, and PWV. Hence, further research is needed in order to confirm whether dietary sodium and potassium are determinants of PWV. Objective: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the associations between dietary sodium and potassium intake, and PWV in the general population. Methods: This cross-sectional study used baseline data from Health And Bread Intervention Trial (HABIT). Spot urine samples were used to estimate dietary sodium and potassium intake. Weighed three-day diet records were analysed for self-reported dietary sodium and potassium intake. Brachial blood pressure, and carotid-femoral PWV were measured with the SphygmoCor 2000. Results: Sixty-five HABIT participants were included in this study. Overall, 52.3% were males, with a mean±SD age of 34.5±18.3years, body mass index (BMI) of 24.9±4.5kg/m2; BP of 126.5/74.8±17.7/11.2mmHg, and PWV of 7.2±1.6m/s. Mean sodium intakes as assessed by spot urine samples and diet records were above New Zealand’s Upper Limit of 2300mg/day (urinary sodium: 3021±756mg/day; dietary sodium: 2784±1067mg/day). Mean potassium intakes, also assessed by spot urine samples and diet records, were below the Adequate Intake for New Zealand of 3800mg/day for males and 2800mg/day for females (male, urinary potassium: 2002±386.9mg/day; male, dietary potassium: 3500±1242.2mg/day; female, urinary potassium: 1902.6±428.5mg/day; female, dietary potassium: 2783.3±991.3mg/day). Dietary intakes of sodium, potassium, and sodium-to-potassium ratio as assessed by spot urine samples and diet records were not independently associated with PWV. In multi-variate analysis age was positively associated with PWV (a 1-year increase in age was associated with a 0.05 m/s increase in PWV). Conclusions: This small cross-sectional study found dietary intakes of sodium, potassium, and sodium-to-potassium were not independent predictors of PWV, suggesting the prediction of PWV is multi-factorial. Future adequately-powered studies should examine these relationships.

    View record details
  • The Totara House Healthy Eating Study: A qualitative investigation into the feasibility of adapting the Senior Chef programme for patients in a mental health setting.

    Borich, Aimee (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: People experiencing early or first episode psychosis (FEP) are at increased risk of metabolic complications resulting from an interaction of illness symptoms, medication side-effects and lifestyle choices. Few studies have explored practical lifestyle interventions utilising nutrition education strategies to improve health outcomes in this population. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of implementing a healthy eating intervention programme in Totara House (a CDHB outpatient service for young adults with first episode psychosis by analysing stakeholder feedback, to determine whether a programme could be developed from a pre-existing learn to cook programme Senior Chef. Methods: Participants involved key stakeholders of Totara House: staff, patients and family members/carers, who were recruited by advertisement or through recommendation from Totara House staff. A combination of individual interviews amongst patients and caregivers and a single focus group amongst staff members was used to explore participant thoughts, opinions, values and experiences, about the importance of nutrition (in this population), and suggestions for programme component ideas. Participants completed a questionnaire to assess their current level of nutrition knowledge. Results: The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Three main themes emerged: “Personal Values” which explored patient worldviews, motivators and barriers; “Knowledge and Experiences of Health and Nutrition” which covered factors that can influence patients’ thoughts and attitudes towards achieving health goals; and “Programme Specific Details” included recommendations from participants for what they wanted to see in a healthy eating intervention programme. These themes and values support implementing a programme with a relaxed social atmosphere, including relevant practical information, and simple, affordable, healthy recipes they can try out at home. The questionnaire scores showed an average level of nutrition knowledge amongst all groups with a mean score of 53% (n=24). A one-way ANOVA revealed no between group differences (p= 0.46): patients 49% (n=8), staff 55% (n=10), family/carers 56% (n=6)), range 32%-73%. Conclusion: A healthy eating intervention programme would be highly valued by Totara House staff, patients and family members/carers. The feedback for the desired programme content aligned with the pre-existing Senior Chef model indicating its potential adaptability into this population. To ensure that the content adheres to current evidence-based nutrition advice, a registered dietitian should be involved in developing, running or overseeing the programme.

    View record details
  • Associations between aspects of body image and lifestyle behaviours and attitudes in Otago adolescents

    Bensley, Rachael (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: Little is known about how New Zealand adolescents feel about their eating and bodies and how it is associated with body composition. Objective: To determine the association between food, feelings, behaviours and body image and (a) body composition and (b) other related factors in Otago adolescents. Design: Six hundred and eighty one adolescents between the ages of 15-18 years completed the Otago Students Secondary School Lifestyle Survey 2 (OSSLS2) in 2011. Height and weight were measured by trained research professionals. For this study we examined four subscales from the Food, Feelings, Behaviours and Body Image Questionaire (FFBBQ): concern about eating and weight; fear of weight gain; dietary restraint; and figure dissatisfaction. Associations between the four subscales and body composition, gender, physical activity, attitudes towards healthy eating and Diet Quality Index (DQI) scores were investigated using regression models. Results: There were significant differences in scores for concern about eating and weight, fear of weight gain, dietary restraint and figure dissatisfaction for males and females, and those at different weight status. Overweight and obese adolescents and female adolescents had significantly higher scores for all four subscales (all P>0.001) compared to normal weight adolescents and male adolescents, respectively. Overweight, obese adolescents and female adolescents were more concerned about their weight, practiced more dietary restraint, were more afraid of weight gain and were more dissatisfied with their figure. While 54% of female adolescents felt their body was “too fat”, only 28% of the females surveyed were classified as overweight or obese. While 26% of the males surveyed were overweight or obese, only 22% of males felt their body was “too fat”. Those who were meeting the physical activity guidelines had significantly lower figure dissatisfaction and concern about eating and weight scores. There were no statistically significant findings between any of the subscales and DQI score or attitudes towards healthy eating. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of body dissatisfaction among Otago adolescents, which was more common in girls than boys, and not restricted to those carrying excess weight. Those who met the guidelines for physical activity reported lower figure dissatisfaction and less concern about eating and weight, compared to those not meeting the guidelines.

    View record details
  • Obedience that Saves: a Dogmatic Inquiry into the Obedience of Jesus Christ in Karl Barth's Doctrine of Reconciliation as shown in his Church Dogmatics

    Fong, Edmund (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis demonstrates the dogmatic significance the motif of the obedience of Jesus Christ has within Karl Barth’s doctrine of reconciliation as shown in the Church Dogmatics. The significance is shown by considering the threefold ‘directional’ manner that Barth treats the obedience of Jesus Christ: i) a ‘backward’ direction in drawing the incarnate obedience of Jesus into the triune Godhead ii) a present orientation in the sense of Jesus’ obedience displayed as it is in the incarnation, and iii) a ‘forward’ direction showing how the obedience of Christ leads to the obedience of those who are reconciled. At the same time, the investigation is conducted by addressing doctrinal or theological issues related to Jesus’ obedience arising from Barth’s treatment of the subject matter, rather than in chronological order as these treatments appear in the Dogmatics. The following two key findings are presented: first, in following the Tradition, Barth affirms the obedience of Jesus Christ as a genuine and authentic human obedience, involving an act of human volition in response to a higher calling or command. This genuine obedience of Jesus Christ comes to play a causative and instrumental role in God’s reconciliatory program with humankind. It is in the second key finding that we locate Barth’s distinctive contribution to the dogmatic significance of Jesus’ obedience vis-à-vis that of the Tradition. That is, Barth equates the incarnate obedience of Jesus Christ with the divine obedience of the eternal Son within the triune Godhead. In this move, Barth goes so far as to tether the command-obedience relationship between the Father and the Son in eternity to the eternally begetting-and-being-begotten relations of origin that characterize the Father and the Son within the divine processions. I argue that Barth is able to assert the notion of divine obedience only because of his underlying framework of actualistic ontology. This, in turn, is a framework specifying God’s eternal election of Jesus Christ as a divine action of self-determination that carries ontological implications for God’s triune being. Given that the second mode of being of the triune God from the outset is identified as Jesus Christ, Barth conceives the incarnate obedience of Jesus Christ as the divine obedience of the eternal Son under the trope of his actualistic ontology. The immediate result of such a conception is that the dogmatic role and function occupied by the obedience of Jesus Christ is extended from its usual domain within the economy of salvation to that of the divine will and purpose, and even to the immanent being of God. The obedience of Jesus Christ could in fact be said to occupy a co-participatory albeit asymmetrically ordered role in the determination of the divine ontology itself that arises from the divine election. Barth gives maximum space to the specification of the role and function of Jesus’ incarnate obedience in a manner unprecedented within the Tradition while preserving the divine initiative and primacy. God allows the incarnate obedience of Jesus Christ to have a part in the divine self-determination that arises from the eternal decision of (self-) election, but it is still God who elects, who so determines his being in just this way, revealing himself as the God who, as Barth states, “does not will to be God without us.” (CD IV/1, p. 7)

    View record details
  • Mechanistic Role of the Secondary and Tertiary Coordination Sphere of Cysteine Dioxygenase

    Davies, Casey G. (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The focus of this thesis is an investigation of the rat enzyme cysteine dioxygenase (CDO). CDO is a non-haem mononuclear iron(II) enzyme that incorporates molecular oxygen into cysteine to form cysteine sulfinic acid. CDO has been implicated with a range of neurological disorders as well as many forms of cancer. Chemically, CDO has two fascinating and unique features. Firstly, it has a neutral three-histidine coordination environment; the more common environment found in most related enzymes is the negatively charged two-histidine carboxylate environment. Secondly, a post- translational thioether modification occurs between two secondary coordination sphere residues in the active site, C93 and Y157. Although CDO has been investigated for many years, the mechanism is still not fully elucidated. The aim of this thesis is to develop the current understanding of the mechanism of cysteine dioxygenase by probing both multiple-turnover and single-turnover kinetics. Multiple-turnover investigations of the secondary and tertiary coordination sphere have elucidated the roles of the crosslink, C93, Y157 and H155. The crosslink increases the rate of reaction. Contrary to current belief, the rate is not increased by the presence of the crosslink itself. Instead, the rate is increased by the act of removing the thiolate of C93 from the active site. This was shown by both the theoretically derived 100 % crosslinked enzyme having almost identical pH independent parameters as the C93G variant. However, removal of Y157 with Y157F did show a substantial variation in reactivity. Further investigations showed that Y157 works in tandem with H155 to protect the active site from secondary cysteine attack. Substrate binding studies support this as the Mössbauer spectra showed variations in the five and six-coordinate cysteine bound iron complexes when Y157 was modified and variations in just the six-coordinate complex when H155 was mutated. Single turnover studies utilising stopped-flow spectrophotometry showed that two intermediates are formed in the visible region at pH 9.1. Using time-dependent chemical-quench with mass spectrometry, the intermediates were correlated to the formation of cysteine sulfinic acid and cysteine sulfonic acid. This is the first evidence of a single domain enzyme acting as a trioxygenase. Altogether, a detailed mechanism of CDO has been developed.

    View record details
  • Interview with Michael Apple: The biography of a public intellectual

    Peters, Michael A. (2015)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Michael W. Apple is the John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies in the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction (CI) and Educational Policy Studies (EPS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education where he has taught since 1970. Michael Apple is one of the foremost educational theorists in the world and a public intellectual who is deeply committed to empowerment and transformation of people through education. Professor Apple specializes in understanding and analyzing the relations between education and power. He has made major contributions to the fields of cultural politics, curriculum theory and research, and critical teaching. He has been a tireless advocate and activist-theorist for development of democratic schools over four decades. He began teaching in elementary and secondary schools in New Jersey where he grew up and served as president of the local teachers' union. He has spent his career working with educators, unions, dissident and disadvantaged groups throughout the world on democratizing educational policy and practice. Professor Apple's research centers on the limits and possibilities of critical educational policy and practice in a time of conservative restoration.

    View record details
  • Anxieties of knowing: Academic pathologies, critical philosophy and the culture of self

    Peters, Michael A. (2015)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This exploratory paper coins the term “academic pathologies” to discuss in a critical approach the culture of the academic self focusing on what is called “anxieties of knowledge”. The paper plays with these themes in reference to the work of Kierkegaard, the American film director Woody Allen, and Jacques Derrida. This topic and paper has eluded me over the years as I tried to gapple with various formulations. The paper that follows the history of my failed attempts is an exercise in self-therapy, confession and self-examination about my continuing in- ability to produce this paper.

    View record details
  • The university in the epoch of digital reason: Fast knowledge in the circuits of cybernetic capitalism

    Peters, Michael A. (2015)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This article examines the university institutional in relation to the notion of time by postulating the concept of “the epoch of digital reason.” Within this epoch the university exhibits “fast knowledge” flows of knowledge in the circuits of “cybernetic capitalism.” The paper introduces the university on speed through the work of Paul Virilio and then in the next sections examines “the epoch of digital reason,” fast knowledge and fast capitalism and “the cybernetic hypothesis” including a conception of the university and “speed politics” within cybernetic capitalism.

    View record details
  • Marx, education and the possibilities of a fairer world: Reviving radical political economy through foucault

    Olssen, Mark; Peters, Michael A. (2015)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Although this paper constitutes a revision of a paper originally published in 2007 [see note 1), the editors are pleased to republish this paper due to its theoretical importance for the critique of Marxism as well the interest it creates for establishing the possibility of a new political economy based upon the work of Michel Foucault. The paper documents and interrogates the contradictions between postmodernism and poststructuralism with Marxism. Starting by documenting the crisis of the Left at the start of the twenty-first century, an attempt is made to radically critique and reappraise Marxism in a direction set out by Foucault. The paper is not so much an attempt to meld Marxism and poststructuralism but rather to generate a new poststructuralist historical materialism which still has equality and fairness as its central concerns, but which goes beyond the traditional problems of Marxism based on its adherence to outmoded methodologies and theoretical modes of analysis. Echoing well known critiques of Marxist historical materialism, the paper focuses on forms of articulation drawn from the revolution in language influenced by post-modernism and by historically more recent post-quantum complexity theories.

    View record details
  • Technological unemployment: Educating for the fourth industrial revolution

    Peters, Michael A. (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This paper reviews recent the concerns and discussion about technological unemployment focusing on the trope “the robots are coming” and beginning with reference to the World Summit (2015) devoted to the issue. There is consensus that robots and big data systems will disrupt labor markets, kill jobs and cause social inequalities. The paper examines Klaus Schwab’s concept of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” – a concept that underlied the recent Davos meeting to inquire about the role of education in an age of automated cognition. Keywords: Technological unemployment, robotization, job displacement, fourth industrial revolution, automated cognition, post-industrial education

    View record details
  • Dairy replacement rearing: a comparison of an integrated management system using fodder beet and traditional rearing systems

    Cvitanovich, Ella

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Heifer rearing systems in New Zealand were compared in a theoretical study on weight and financial costs. The systems compared were restricted fodder beet, ad libitum fodder beet, contract grazing and on-platform pasture grazing. The aim was to identify the most cost effective rearing system to ensure heifers are grown to achieve or exceed target live weights at 15 and 22 months. Potential live weight gains were calculated through metabolisable energy in feed and daily animal intakes using reference feed standards. The pre-mating average daily weight gains were 0.59 kgLWT/day, 0.53 kgLWT/day and 0.49 kgLWT/day for the ad libitum fodder beet, restricted fodder beet and pasture grazing respectively. None of these diets meet mating live weight targets, however ad lib fodder beet was the closest at 1.8%. The weight gains between mating and calving on the ad libitum fodder beet diet and restricted fodder beet diet were 0.59 kgLWT/day and 0.53 kgLWT/day respectively, higher than 0.49 kgLWT/day seen in the pasture grazing systems. The ad libitum fodder beet diet live weights were undesired at 29.4% above target, however the other systems meet target weights. The most expensive rearing system was contract grazing at $2.85/kgLWT gained. This was followed by on-platform pasture grazing at $2.57/kgLWT gain. Fodder beet has the lowest cost of gain at $2.27/kgLWT gain. Cost analysis showed that live weight gain, not cost of crop, is the key driver of cost effective rearing systems. This research demonstrates that under careful management and feed restrictions fodder beet is a suitable and cost effective way to rear heifers in the New Zealand dairy industry.

    View record details
  • Provision of Foot Health Services for People With Rheumatoid Arthritis in New South Wales: A Web-based Survey of Local Podiatrists

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background: It is unclear if podiatric foot care for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in New South Wales (NSW) meets current clinical recommendations. The objective of this study was to survey podiatrists' perceptions of the nature of podiatric foot care provision for people who have RA in NSW.Methods: An anonymous, cross-sectional survey with a web-based questionnaire was conducted. The survey questionnaire was developed according to clinical experience and current foot care recommendations. State registered podiatrists practising in the state of NSW were invited to participate. The survey link was distributed initially via email to members of the Australian Podiatry Association (NSW), and distributed further through snowballing techniques using professional networks. Data was analysed to assess significant associations between adherence to clinical practice guidelines, and private/public podiatry practices.Results: 86 podiatrists participated in the survey (78% from private practice, 22% from public practice). Respondents largely did not adhere to formal guidelines to manage their patients (88%). Only one respondent offered a dedicated service for patients with RA. Respondents indicated that the primary mode of accessing podiatry was by self-referral (68%). Significant variation was observed regarding access to disease and foot specific assessments and treatment strategies. Assessment methods such as administration of patient reported outcome measures, vascular and neurological assessments were not conducted by all respondents. Similarly, routine foot care strategies such as prescription of foot orthoses, foot health advice and footwear were not employed by all respondents.Conclusions: The results identified issues in foot care provision which should be explored through further research. Foot care provision in NSW does not appear to meet the current recommended standards for the management of foot problems in people who have RA. Improvements to foot care could be undertaken in terms of providing better access to examination techniques and treatment strategies that are recommended by evidence based treatment paradigms. © 2013 Hendry et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

    View record details
  • Injury Incidence in Cross Country Skiers

    Worth, S; Reid, D; Henry, S

    Unclassified
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background Prospective, cross-country ski injury incidence data is scarce. Objective To describe injury type and incidence sustained by elite cross-country skiers in north-eastern America. We hypothesized that lower extremity injury incidence would be higher than other body regions. A secondary aim was to determine any factors that correlate with new injury. Design A prospective, longitudinal study that included: demographics (ski and injury history); Movement Competency Screening (MCS); hamstring length measurement; core muscle endurance testing (trunk flexor to extensor ratio). Athletes then completed 12 consecutive, monthly electronic surveys about training, racing, and injury status. Setting Collegiate and professional ski team practices. Patients (or Participants) A convenience sample of 71 cross-country skiers (age 18–27 years, 35 men); 41 participants (18 men) completed the study. Independent variables MCS score; hamstring length; ratio of trunk flexor to extensor endurance; injury history; training activities and hours; training lost to injury. Main Outcome Measurements New injury reports. Results Mean injury incidence was 3.81 new injuries per participant, per 1,000 hours of training. Injury incidences for lower extremity (2.13), and overuse/non-traumatic (2.76) injuries were significantly greater than trunk (0.22), upper extremity (0.46), or acute/traumatic (1.05) injuries (p0.05). Past injuries were a significant predictor of new injuries, when accounting for training time, running time and MCS score (p<0.05). Conclusions This year long, prospective report of injury type and incidence in competitive cross-country skiers demonstrated that lower extremity and overuse/non-traumatic injuries had the highest incidence rates. Previously injured skiers are at greater risk of further injury.

    View record details
  • Là où dialoguent les musées: The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa at the Musée du Quai Branly

    Phillips, Lily (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The opening of the Musée du quai Branly in 2006 signalled a new approach to the display of Māori and Pacific collections in France and the beginning of a new relationship with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Between 2006 and 2012, the two museums were brought together by two challenging events: the repatriation of toi moko (Māori tattooed heads) from France to New Zealand and the 2011 exhibition Maori: leurs trésors ont une âme at the quai Branly. Through a close study of the repatriation and exhibition, and interviews with participants, this thesis considers the questions these events raise. How can museums with very different approaches to the treatment of artefacts negotiate issues of repatriation and the exhibition of sacred objects? How should colonial-era anthropological collections be exhibited today? What is the place of contemporary indigenous art in the museum? By focusing on the exchanges between two institutions, Te Papa and the quai Branly, this thesis suggests how conversations at an individual level can lead to shifts in the perception and exhibition of museum objects, and how dialogues between museums internationally can contribute to an evolution in the treatment and display of indigenous artefacts and art in museums.

    View record details
  • Applying Formal Modelling to the Specification and Testing of SDN Network Functionality

    Stevens, Matt (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Software Defined Networks offers a new paradigm to manage networks, one that favors centralised control over the distributed control used in legacy networks. This brings network operators potential efficiencies in capital investment, operating costs and wider choice in network appliance providers. We explore in this research whether these efficiencies apply to all network functionality by applying formal modelling to create a mathematically rigourous model of a service, a firewall, and using that model to derive tests that are ultimately applied to two SDN firewalls and a legacy stateful firewall. In the process we discover the only publicly available examples of SDN firewalls are not equivalent to legacy stateful firewalls and in fact create a security flaw that may be exploited by an attacker.

    View record details
  • Genetic Programming for Automatically Synthesising Robust Image Descriptors with A Small Number of Instances

    Al-Sahaf, Harith (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Image classification is a core task in many applications of computer vision, including object detection and recognition. It aims at analysing the visual content and automatically categorising a set of images into different groups. Performing image classification can largely be affected by the features used to perform this task. Extracting features from images is a challenging task due to the large search space size and practical requirements such as domain knowledge and human intervention. Human intervention is usually needed to identify a good set of keypoints (regions of interest), design a set of features to be extracted from those keypoints such as lines and corners, and develop a way to extract those features. Automating these tasks has great potential to dramatically decrease the time and cost, and may potentially improve the performance of the classification task. There are two well-recognised approaches in the literature to automate the processes of identifying keypoints and extracting image features. Designing a set of domain-independent features is the first approach, where the focus is on dividing the image into a number of predefined regions and extracting features from those regions. The second approach is synthesising a function or a set of functions to form an image descriptor that aims at automatically detecting a set of keypoints such as lines and corners, and performing feature extraction. Although employing image descriptors is more effective and very popular in the literature, designing those descriptors is a difficult task that in most cases requires domain-expert intervention. The overall goal of this thesis is to develop a new domain independent Genetic Programming (GP) approach to image classification by utilising GP to evolve programs that are capable of automatically detecting diverse and informative keypoints, designing a set of features, and performing feature extraction using only a small number of training instances to facilitate image classification, and are robust to different image changes such as illumination and rotation. This thesis focuses on incorporating a variety of simple arithmetic operators and first-order statistics (mid-level features) into the evolutionary process and on representation of GP to evolve programs that are robust to image changes for image classification. This thesis proposes methods for domain-independent binary classification in images using GP to automatically identify regions within an image that have the potential to improve classification while considering the limitation of having a small training set. Experimental results show that in over 67% of cases the new methods significantly outperform the use of existing hand-crafted features and features automatically detected by other methods. This thesis proposes the first GP approach for automatically evolving an illumination-invariant dense image descriptor that detects automatically designed keypoints, and performs feature extraction using only a few instances of each class. The experimental results show improvement of 86% on average compared to two GP-based methods, and can significantly outperform domain-expert hand-crafted descriptors in more than 89% of the cases. This thesis also considers rotation variation of images and proposes a method for automatically evolving rotation-invariant image descriptors through integrating a set of first-order statistics as terminals. Compared to hand-crafted descriptors, the experimental results reveal that the proposed method has significantly better performance in more than 83% of the cases. This thesis proposes a new GP representation that allows the system to automatically choose the length of the feature vector side-by-side with evolving an image descriptor. Automatically determining the length of the feature vector helps to reduce the number of the parameters to be set. The results show that this method has evolved descriptors with a very small feature vector which yet still significantly outperform the competitive methods in more than 91% of the cases. This thesis proposes a method for transfer learning by model in GP, where an image descriptor evolved on instances of a related problem (source domain) is applied directly to solve a problem being tackled (target domain). The results show that the new method evolves image descriptors that have better generalisability compared to hand-crafted image descriptors. Those automatically evolved descriptors show positive influence on classifying the target domain datasets in more than 56% of the cases.

    View record details
  • High Ground, Low Ground: Explorations in Topography and Neighbourliness in Coastal Dune Settlement.

    Wallis, Stephanie (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The desire to live close to the ocean often brings about settlement that sprawls along the beachfront, parallel to the coastline. This settlement structure is problematic as it diminishes the importance of community while exposing beachfront housing to coastal hazards. The coastal dune settlements of Waikanae and Paraparaumu, where this research has been undertaken, exhibits this problematic settlement structure. Using these sites as a case study, the research seeks to re-examine the New Zealand coastal land settlement formation. It explores what could happen if the current coastal settlement pattern re-organised as a more social structure? The research is investigating an approach to settlement through re-examining the idea of neighbourhood by looking at its whole relation to the coastal dune topography, ecology, and wider landscape relations. However, not only does this research look at the social potentials of coastal settlement but how disaster planning can become a device to achieve this outcome. Essentially, it aligns itself with the attitude that flooding and coastal hazards should not just be looked at as an engineering problem but an opportunity to alter the way in which we settle coastlines in a way that builds community.

    View record details
  • Business Value of ICT for Small Tourism Enterprises: The Case of Sri Lanka

    Abeysekara, U.G.D Lakshila Dilhani Perera (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Researchers and practitioners believe that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) create business value in organisations. However in practice, organisations often struggle to demonstrate the benefits of ICTs. This difficulty in demonstrating the value of ICTs to organisations is not related to the technology itself, but rather the ways in which technology is used, and how it creates business value. There is an extensive body of literature which focuses on these issues. However, it is predominantly centred on large organisations in the context of developed countries. There is a lack of research on how ICTs create business value in small enterprises particularly in relation to developing countries. Hence, the business value of ICTs remains an important research topic for information systems researchers. The tourism industry is highly information intensive and the use of ICTs in tourism has become so widespread it is almost obligatory. While the benefits that larger tourism organisations gain from ICTs have been well researched, little is known about how ICTs can be utilised to maximise the business value of Small Tourism Enterprises (STEs). Understanding the value of ICTs for STEs is important as they have gained widespread recognition as a major source of employment, income generation and poverty alleviation in developing countries. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore how ICTs can contribute to the business value of STEs. Using a combination of Barney’s Resource Based View of the firm (RBV) and an integrated model developed by combining the Business value of IT framework by Melville et al. and the tourism production system by Poon and Alford, this study examines how ICTs contribute to the business value of STEs. A post-positivist qualitative multi-case study was carried out using 35 STEs which represent the major tourist regions of Sri Lanka. Semi-structured interviews were the main method of data collection supported by document and website analysis. Data analysis was guided by template coding. The initial template developed using the dimensions identified from the literature was further analysed by integrating the themes which emerged from the research data. Data was analysed across cases, using a cross tabular design to compare categories and analyse within-group similarities and inter-group differences. The use of technological and human ICT resources alongside complementary resources in key business processes was examined in order to identify how ICTs were being utilised to gain business value for STEs in Sri Lanka. The combination of internal and external factors derived from the focal firm and the external environment proved to have a significant role in determining STEs’ ability to gain business value from ICTs. Further analysis of cases across four major tourism clusters revealed that business motives, strategies, and location were the main reasons for the varying levels of business value gained by small businesses in the country. The findings of this study indicated that ICTs do contribute to the business value of STEs in Sri Lanka by improving organisational performance in terms of both financial and non-financial gains. In accordance with the claims of RBV, the findings further confirmed that in order to gain business value, ICT resources need to be combined with complementary resources. The findings also identified the significance of strategic integration of online travel agents’ resources in order for STEs to gain the optimum business value from their own ICT resources. A key outcome of this study is the development of an integrated model of the business value of ICTs for STEs. In addition, this study contributes to the theoretical understanding of IT business value research in the context of small tourism businesses, particularly in developing countries. It also has implications for business owners and governments in terms of effective utilisation of firm resources, prioritization and allocation of resources to key projects and processes.

    View record details
  • Simplified method to forecast loss of land and water table changes due to sea level rise caused by climate change

    Li, Jiannan; De Costa, Gregory; Phillips, David (2016-08)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    It is well known that climate change is causing sea levels to change worldwide. This sea level increase is causing loss of land and changes to water table in coastal zones. There are sophisticated models such as ARCGIS, FEEFLOW etc. to model and accurately calculate the changes occurring in these areas. In order to use these models one requires good quality data sets coupled with experienced modellers which is at times sparse and hard to source. Therefore here in this research a simplified method is proposed to estimate the changes occurring in these areas. Initially sea level changes were projected using linear regression method. Changes to land and water table in Wellington New Zealand were simulated, modelled and a simple model was developed using this data to estimate changes. The model was validated using a different data set series. This model could now be used to easily estimate the changes to ground water and land loss in other coastal zones, particularly where data is sparse and technical knowhow on modelling is limited, which is generally the case in most areas.

    View record details