79,534 results

  • Resilient Communities Murupara

    Pomeroy, Ann (2016-06)

    Report
    University of Otago

    Resilience is the ability of individuals, families, whānau1 (extended family), communities and institutions to cope and persevere through adverse conditions (e.g., a natural disaster or economic shock), and their ability to recover (‘bounce back’ or adjust to a changed post-event reality) and resume their lives. The period of adjustment and recovery may be weeks, but more often than not it is years, and in the case of Māori, resistance and perseverance has stretched across decades into centuries. This report reflects on what I have learned from participating in a research project looking at key factors that enable individuals, whānau, communities and institutions to cope, adapt, change and progress after adverse events. The report focuses on just one component of the whole research project: the resilience of the people of Ngāti Manawa and Ngāti Whare, who live in and near Murupara, a rural village in eastern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

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  • Looking Back for the Future: Local Knowledge and Paleoecology Inform Biocultural Restoration of Coastal Ecosystems in New Zealand

    Lyver, Philip O'B; Wilmshurst, Janet; Wood, Jamie; Jones, Christopher J; Fromont, Mairie; Bellingham, Peter J; Stone, Clive; Sheehan, Michael (2015-10)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    We combine local knowledge of elders and environmental practitioners from two indigenous Māori communities and pollen evidence in soil cores from two islands and two mainland coastal sites to inform the planning of coastal ecosystem restoration initiatives in New Zealand. The Māori participants desired ecosystems that delivered cultural (e.g., support for identity), social (e.g., knowledge transfer), economic (e.g., agroecology) and environmental (e.g., biodiversity protection) outcomes to their communities. Pollen records identified three periods when vegetation was dominated by different taxa: (1) Pre-human (<AD c.1280) – forest dominated by native conifers, angiosperms and nīkau palm (Rhopalostylis sapida); (2) Māori settlement (AD c.1280–1770) – scrub and bracken fern (Pteridium esculentum); and (3) European settlement (post-1770) – Metrosideros excelsa forest with harakeke (Phormium sp.), raupō (Typha orientalis), grasses (Poaceae), exotic plantation conifers (Pinaceae), and agricultural weeds. A fourth, aspirational system that integrated human activities such as agriculture and horticulture with native forest was conceptualized. Our approach emphasizes the importance of placing humans within nature and the reciprocity of environmental and social well-being.

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  • Opportunities and challenges for multicriteria assessment of food system sustainability

    Alroe, Hugo F; Moller, Henrik; Læssøe, Jeppe; Noe, Egon (2016)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    The focus of the Special Feature on “Multicriteria assessment of food system sustainability” is on the complex challenges of making and communicating overall assessments of food systems sustainability based on multiple and varied criteria. Four papers concern the choice and development of appropriate tools for making multicriteria sustainability assessments that handle built-in methodological conflicts and trade-offs between different assessment objectives. They underscore the value of linking diverse methods and tools, or nesting and stepping their deployment, to help build resilience and sustainability. They conclude that there is no one tool, one framework, or one indicator set that is appropriate for the different purposes and contexts of sustainability assessment. The process of creating the assessment framework also emerges as important: if the key stakeholders are not given a responsible and full role in the development of any assessment tool, it is less likely to be fit for their purpose and they are unlikely to take ownership or have confidence in it. Six other papers reflect on more fundamental considerations of how assessments are based in different scientific perspectives and on the role of values, motivation, and trust in relation to assessments in the development of more sustainable food systems. They recommend a radical break with the tradition of conducting multicriteria assessment from one hegemonic perspective to considering multiple perspectives. Collectively the contributions to this Special Feature identify three main challenges for improved multicriteria assessment of food system sustainability: (i) how to balance different types of knowledge to avoid that the most well-known, precise, or easiest to measure dimensions of sustainability gets the most weight; (ii) how to expose the values in assessment tools and choices to allow evaluation of how they relate to the ethical principles of sustainable food systems, to societal goals, and to the interests of different stakeholders; and (iii) how to enable communication in such a way that the assessments can effectively contribute to the development of more sustainable food systems by facilitating a mutual learning process between researchers and stakeholders. The wider question of how to get from assessment to transformation goes across all three challenges. We strongly recommend future research on the strengths, weaknesses, and complementarities of taking a values-based rather than a performance-based approach to promoting the resilience and sustainability of coupled ecological, economic, and social systems for ensuring food security and agroecosystem health in the coming millennium.

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  • When experts disagree: the need to rethink indicator selection for assessing sustainability of agriculture

    de Olde, Evelien M; Moller, Henrik; Marchand, Fleur; McDowell, Richard W; MacLeod, Catriona; Sautier, Marion; Halloy, Stephan; Barber, Andrew; Benge, Jayson; Bockstaller, Christian; Bokkers, Eddie A M; de Boer, Imke J M; Legun, Katharine A; Le Quellec, Isabelle; Merfield, Charles; Oudshoorn, Frank W; Reid, John; Schader, Christian; Szymanski, Erika; Sørensen, Claus A G; Whitehead, Jay; Manhire, Jon (2016-05-11)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Sustainability indicators are well recognized for their potential to assess and monitor sustainable development of agricultural systems. A large number of indicators are proposed in various sustainability assessment frameworks, which raises concerns regarding the validity of approaches, usefulness and trust in such frameworks. Selecting indicators requires transparent and well-defined procedures to ensure the relevance and validity of sustainability assessments. The objective of this study, therefore, was to determine whether experts agree on which criteria are most important in the selection of indicators and indicator sets for robust sustainability assessments. Two groups of experts (Temperate Agriculture Research Network and New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard) were asked to rank the relative importance of eleven criteria for selecting individual indicators and of nine criteria for balancing a collective set of indicators. Both ranking surveys reveal a startling lack of consensus amongst experts about how best to measure agricultural sustainability and call for a radical rethink about how complementary approaches to sustainability assessments are used alongside each other to ensure a plurality of views and maximum collaboration and trust amongst stakeholders. To improve the transparency, relevance and robustness of sustainable assessments, the context of the sustainability assessment, including prioritizations of selection criteria for indicator selection, must be accounted for. A collaborative design process will enhance the acceptance of diverse values and prioritizations embedded in sustainability assessments. The process by which indicators and sustainability frameworks are established may be a much more important determinant of their success than the final shape of the assessment tools. Such an emphasis on process would make assessments more transparent, transformative and enduring.

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  • Effects of stock type, irrigation and effluent dispersal on earthworm species composition, densities and biomasses in New Zealand pastures

    Manono, Bonface; Moller, Henrik (2015-09)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    We investigated the effects of grazing stock, irrigation and effluent dispersal on earthworm species compositions, densities and biomasses in 615 locations across 41 farms in the Waitaki Basin, New Zealand, between April and September 2012. No native megascolecid earthworms were found, but four introduced European species were encountered. Among earthworms collected, Aporrectodea caliginosa accounted for 70% of the total, 23% were Lumbricus rubellus and 4% Aporrectodea longa. When compared with untreated locations, total earthworm density was higher by 42% in effluent only locations and 72% in irrigated only locations. Maximum densities and biomasses occurred where both effluent and irrigation were applied. L. rubellus density was 32% higher in effluent only locations, 123% higher in irrigated only locations and 180% higher in effluent and irrigated locations than untreated locations. A. longa occurred in 24% of the sampled locations and appeared to be suppressed in irrigated locations. When equivalent treatments were applied, earthworm densities were 15.4% to 36.6% higher on sheep farms than on dairy farms; earthworm biomasses differed by –3.3% to 55.8% between these two kinds of stock animal farms. Treatment effects on earthworms were evident only in the upper 10 cm soil layer. Effluent and water application may have reduced the risk of desiccation and increased the availability of resources for earthworms. However, local absence of the deep burrowing species (e.g. A. longa) raises concerns about ecosystem functioning. This is a topic that should be explored further.

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  • Resilience of family farming 1984–2014: Case studies from two sheep/beef hill country districts of New Zealand

    Pomeroy, Ann (2015)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    In this analysis, the resilience of family farmers is investigated in two hill country districts of New Zealand (Central Hawkes Bay and Waitomo District) by following the experiences of a sample of 119 sheep/beef producers through two snapshots of their circumstances taken three decades apart. The famers and their spouses were first interviewed in 1984 prior to the removal of state subsidies and other assistance. In 2012–2013, 94 of the farmers (or their successors) were interviewed again. During the period under investigation, they had coped with economic shocks, natural disasters (particularly major droughts) and for some, personal tragedies. The focus of the study is on the economic viability of the family farms in the face of a range of hazardous and adverse events, and how their owners (and families) are adapting and responding to global and local economic and social changes, and the natural disasters which are a normal backdrop to farming.

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  • Spatial variation in reproduction in southern populations of the New Zealand bivalve Paphies ventricosa (Veneroida: Mesodesmatidae)

    Gadomski, Kendall; Lamare, Miles (2015-03)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Paphies ventricosa is a large surf clam endemic to New Zealand, and whose populations have substantially declined during the past century owing to overfishing and habitat degradation. Poor recruitment is now evident, and therefore, understanding the reproductive patterns of P. ventricosa is a key to developing and implementing conservation strategies for the species. This study examines the reproductive cycle of P. ventricosa over one year in a population at Oreti Beach, Southland, the southernmost known extent of the species. At the same beach, we quantify spatial variation in reproduction among four sites using quarterly surveys. Reproductive status is quantified from body indices and histological examination of gonads. Based on changes in oocyte sizes, gametogenic stages and condition index, we observed a species with a primary spawning in spring and a second spawning event in autumn, with no resting phase but minimal reproductive activity over winter. Seasonal reproduction corresponded with warmer sea surface temperature and a peak in chlorophyll-a concentrations in the region. Small-scale (<15 km) variation in the timing of spawning was also evident along Oreti Beach, and these patterns maybe an important consideration when identifying areas that may be considered for conserving source populations.

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  • Estimating Regions of Oceanographic Importance for Seabirds Using A-Spatial Data

    Humphries, Grant Richard Woodrow (2015-09-02)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Advances in GPS tracking technologies have allowed for rapid assessment of important oceanographic regions for seabirds. This allows us to understand seabird distributions, and the characteristics which determine the success of populations. In many cases, quality GPS tracking data may not be available; however, long term population monitoring data may exist. In this study, a method to infer important oceanographic regions for seabirds will be presented using breeding sooty shearwaters as a case study. This method combines a popular machine learning algorithm (generalized boosted regression modeling), geographic information systems, long-term ecological data and open access oceanographic datasets. Time series of chick size and harvest index data derived from a long term dataset of Maori ‘muttonbirder’ diaries were obtained and used as response variables in a gridded spatial model. It was found that areas of the sub-Antarctic water region best capture the variation in the chick size data. Oceanographic features including wind speed and charnock (a derived variable representing ocean surface roughness) came out as top predictor variables in these models. Previously collected GPS data demonstrates that these regions are used as “flyways” by sooty shearwaters during the breeding season. It is therefore likely that wind speeds in these flyways affect the ability of sooty shearwaters to provision for their chicks due to changes in flight dynamics. This approach was designed to utilize machine learning methodology but can also be implemented with other statistical algorithms. Furthermore, these methods can be applied to any long term time series of population data to identify important regions for a species of interest.

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  • Embryonic and larval development of the New Zealand bivalve Paphies ventricosa Gray, 1843 (Veneroida: Mesodesmatidae) at a range of temperatures

    Gadomski, Kendall; Moller, Henrik; Beentjes, Michael; Lamare, Miles (2015-08)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Paphies ventricosa is a large (up to 150 mm shell length) surf clam endemic to New Zealand, with a geographically patchy distribution. Using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, its fertilization, embryonic and larval development were observed at three culturing temperatures (12, 16 and 20 °C). The progress of development follows that previously described for the family Mesodesmatidae, with P. ventricosa having a small egg (63–70 µm), with a 83–102 µm trochophore stage observed at 15 h, and a 100 µm D-veliger larva observed at 22 h at 12 and 16°C, and 37 h at 20 °C. At 20 °C, the pediveliger larval stage was reached by 31 d. While the morphology of the embryonic and larval stages of P. ventricosa is typical for bivalves, we show that in this species the shell field invagination occurs in the gastrula stage and that the expansion of the dorsal shell field occurs during gastrulation, with the early trochophore having a well-developed shell field that has a clearly defined axial line between the two shell lobes. The growth of P. ventricosa larvae cultured at 12, 16 or 20 °C over 39, 33 and 31 d respectively, was faster at warmer temperatures. Using the temperature quotient Q10 at day 27 to quantify the response to temperature, values of Q10 = 1.82 for the range 12–16 °C and Q10 = 2.33 for the range 16–20 °C were calculated. Larval shape was not temperature dependent, suggesting that the smaller larvae found at colder temperatures reflect a slowing of larval development, rather than physiological damage by temperature resulting in abnormal larval development.

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  • Key biocultural values to guide restoration action and planning in New Zealand

    Lyver, Philip O'B; Akins, Ashli; Phipps, Hilary; Kahui, Viktoria; Towns, David R; Moller, Henrik (2015-12-19)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    A pluralist and cross-cultural approach that accommodates differing values while encouraging the collaboration and social cohesion necessary for the complex task of ecological restoration is needed. We used qualitative and quantitative analyses to investigate value assigned to biocultural restoration of coastal forests in northern New Zealand by 26 interviewees from three groups (environmental managers, Māori community members, and community project leaders). Māori community members primarily emphasized the importance of Cultural Stewardship and Use in the restoration process, while placing less emphasis on Ecological Integrity. Otherwise, all participants shared common trends, culminating in three interrelated value sets: (1) Personal Engagement, (2) Connection, and (3) the generation and transfer of Knowledge & Wisdom. These values demonstrate that restoration's benefits to people and community are as significant as its reparations of ecological components. Despite differences, all stakeholders were united in a broadly common goal to restore socio-ecological systems. Their knowledge and shared passion for conservation signal enormous promise for accelerated and effective restoration of coastal forests, if it is conducted using a pluralistic approach. Because some values expressed were intangible and complex, with cross-cultural dimensions, current valuation tools used by ecological economists to guide management investment fail to adequately account for, in particular, Māori values of ecological restoration.

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  • Secondary school student perspectives on community resilience in Grey District.

    Pomeroy, Ann; Holland, Peter (2016)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    For a national competition supported by the New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers, secondary school students in years 10–13 were asked to identify and investigate factors that were building community resilience in their home areas, and the entries provided young people’s perspectives on how well individuals, families and communities ‘bounce back’, adapt, change and become stronger following an adverse event. This article concerns the findings of students at Greymouth High School. Their entries showed that community resilience in Grey District depended on individual and collective capacity for action. The greater their involvement in community affairs and projects, the more likely individuals and families were to form networks and participate in communal activities. In Greymouth, as elsewhere in New Zealand, membership of voluntary organisations and participation in planning for, and responding to, catastrophic events has helped residents respond effectively in times of adversity and has enhanced community resilience

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  • Advancing Marine Policy Toward Ecosystem-Based Management by Eliciting Public Preferences

    Chhun, Sophal; Kahui, Viktoria; Moller, Henrik; Thorsnes, Paul (2015-03)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    The implementation of marine protected areas, such as marine reserves and customary fishing areas, is considered an important step toward advancing ecosystem-based management (EBM), but has proven difficult due to resistance from well-organized fishing interests. This raises the question of how the values of less well-organised parties can be brought into the political decision-making process. We summarise the results of a discrete choice survey of the general public in New Zealand that elicits willingness to make tradeoffs among taxes and four socio-ecological attributes: biodiversity, maintenance of Maori customary practices, and restrictions on commercial and recreational fishing. We apply cluster analysis, which provides information about political ‘market shares’ of respondent preferences, and derive estimates of average public willingness to pay for various policy scenarios. Both analyses reveal broad-scale support for conservation of biodiversity and cultural practices, providing quantifiable input from the public in the process of marine space reallocation.

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  • Release of constraints on nest-site selection in burrow-nesting petrels following invasive rat eradication

    Buxton, Rachel T; Anderson, Dean; Moller, Henrik; Jones, Christopher J; Lyver, Philip O'B (2015)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Introduced mammals have been eradicated from many offshore islands around the world, removing predation pressure from burrow-nesting seabirds and other affected wildlife. Nest-site selection in procellariiform seabirds is mediated by nesting habitat characteristics and social information, although it is unclear if, or how, nest-site selection will affect post-eradication colony growth. Using a Bayesian hierarchical modeling approach we assessed how nest-site selection differs among burrow-nesting seabird colonies at different stages of recovery after Pacific rat (Rattus exulans) eradication. We compared nest-site selection in a community of seven procellariiform species among six offshore islands in northeastern New Zealand: four designated rat-free over a continuum within the last 26 years, an island which never had rats, and an island with rats present. We hypothesized that, immediately after eradication, birds would be constrained to nesting habitat where they were less vulnerable to predation, and as time since eradication increased birds would eventually spread to new habitat. We found a positive relationship between mean burrow density and time since rat eradication. Soil depth was the most important predictor of burrow presence, abundance, and occupancy in plots among islands, with more burrows found in deeper soil. We found that the relationships between habitat covariates and nest-site selection decreased with increasing time since eradication. The probability of a covariate having a significant effect on nest-site selection decreased with increasing time since eradication and decreasing variability in the covariate across an island. Our results suggest that the eradication of rodents reduced constraints on petrel nesting distribution and that nest-site selection in burrow-nesting petrels may be influenced by burrow density, where selection of particular nesting habitat characteristics may be relatively more important in small recovering populations. We conclude that colony expansion immediately after predator removal is complex, influenced by numerous interacting factors, but may be partly limited by the availability of suitable nesting habitat.

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  • Monitoring burrowing petrel populations: A sampling scheme for the management of an island keystone species

    Buxton, Rachel T; Gormley, Andrew M; Jones, Christopher J; Lyver, Philip O'B (2015-09-24)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Burrow-nesting petrels (order Procellariiformes) are keystone species in island ecosystems, where they modify habitat through guano deposition and burrow digging. Burrowing petrels are among the most threatened groups of birds, yet robust long-term monitoring data remain scarce because of the financial and logistical constraints of working on offshore breeding islands, the variety of surveying strategies used, and the birds' below-ground breeding behavior. We examined the sampling requirements of monitoring programs to detect changes in the number of breeding pairs of gray-faced petrels (Pterodroma gouldi), a common species in northern New Zealand. We first examined the relationship between burrow entrance density and breeding pair density using 4 years of data from 3 large colonies. We then conducted a simulation-based power analysis to assess the ability of different burrow-occupancy sampling regimes to detect changes in breeding bird abundance. Power to detect change was influenced by population growth rates, initial bird density, inter-annual variation in abundance, plot size, number of plots, intervals between surveys, time of year surveys are undertaken, and duration of the monitoring program. Our analyses suggest that, under the most suboptimal monitoring conditions, at least 45 randomly assigned 5-m-radius plots surveyed annually during the incubation period for ≥20 years will be required to detect a 1% annual change in breeding bird abundance. Because power will vary depending on project specifications, local conditions, and potential change, we created an online application with over 50,000 combinations of starting parameters (https://landcare.shinyapps.io/petrels). This allows managers to determine the power of different combinations of survey intensities while maintaining consistency and maximizing efficiency. © 2015 The Wildlife Society.

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  • Are Organic Standards Sufficient to Ensure Sustainable Agriculture? Lessons From New Zealand’s ARGOS and Sustainability Dashboard Projects

    Merfield, Charles; Moller, Henrik; Manhire, John; Rosin, Chris; Norton, Solis; Carey, Peter; Hunt, Lesley; Reid, John; Fairweather, John; Benge, Jayson; Le Quellec, Isabelle; Campbell, Hugh; Lucock, Dave; Saunders, Caroline; MacLeod, Catriona; Barber, Andrew; McCarthy, Alaric (2015-07)

    Journal article
    University of Otago

    Our review concludes that organic standards need to account for a broader set of criteria in order to retain claims to ‘sustainability’. Measurements of the ecological, economic and social outcomes from over 96 kiwifruit, sheep/beef and dairy farms in New Zealand between 2004 and 2012 by The Agricultural Research Group on Sustainability (ARGOS) project showed some enhanced ecosystem services from organic agriculture that will assist a “land-sharing” approach for sustainable land management. However, the efficiency of provisioning services is reduced in organic systems and this potentially undermines a “land-sparing” strategy to secure food security and ecosystem services. Other aspects of the farm operation that are not considered in the organic standards sometimes had just as much or even a greater effect on ecosystem services than restriction of chemical inputs and synthetic fertilisers. An organic farming version of the New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard will integrate organic standards and wider agricultural best practice into a broad and multidimensional sustainability assessment framework and package of learning tools. There is huge variation in performance of farms within a given farming system. Therefore improving ecosystem services depends as much on locally tuned learning and adjustments of farm practice on individual farms as on uptake of organic or Integrated Management farming system protocols.

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  • Learning Distance Metrics for Multi-Label Classification

    Gouk, Henry; Pfahringer, Bernhard; Cree, Michael J. (2016)

    Conference item
    University of Waikato

    Distance metric learning is a well studied problem in the field of machine learning, where it is typically used to improve the accuracy of instance based learning techniques. In this paper we propose a distance metric learning algorithm that is specialised for multi-label classification tasks, rather than the multiclass setting considered by most work in this area. The method trains an embedder that can transform instances into a feature space where squared Euclidean distance provides an estimate of the Jaccard distance between the corresponding label vectors. In addition to a linear Mahalanobis style metric, we also present a nonlinear extension that provides a substantial boost in performance. We show that this technique significantly improves upon current approaches for instance based multi-label classification, and also enables interesting data visualisations.

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  • A new attraction-detachment model for explaining flow sliding in clay-rich tephras

    Kluger, Max O.; Moon, Vicki G.; Kreiter, Stefan; Lowe, David J.; Churchman, G.J.; Hepp, Daniel A.; Seibel, David; Jorat, M. Ehsan; Mörz, Tobias (2017-02-01)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Altered pyroclastic (tephra) deposits are highly susceptible to landsliding, leading to fatali-ties and property damage every year. Halloysite, a low-activity clay mineral, is commonly associated with landslide-prone layers within altered tephra successions, especially in depos-its with high sensitivity, which describes the post-failure strength loss. However, the precise role of halloysite in the development of sensitivity, and thus in sudden and unpredictable landsliding, is unknown. Here we show that an abundance of mushroom cap–shaped (MCS) spheroidal halloysite governs the development of sensitivity, and hence proneness to landslid-ing, in altered rhyolitic tephras, North Island, New Zealand. We found that a highly sensitive layer, which was involved in a flow slide, has a remarkably high content of aggregated MCS spheroids with substantial openings on one side. We suggest that short-range electrostatic and van der Waals interactions enabled the MCS spheroids to form interconnected aggre-gates by attraction between the edges of numerous paired silanol and aluminol sheets that are exposed in the openings and the convex silanol faces on the exterior surfaces of adjacent MCS spheroids. If these weak attractions are overcome during slope failure, multiple, weakly attracted MCS spheroids can be separated from one another, and the prevailing repulsion between exterior MCS surfaces results in a low remolded shear strength, a high sensitivity, and a high propensity for flow sliding. The evidence indicates that the attraction-detachment model explains the high sensitivity and contributes to an improved understanding of the mechanisms of flow sliding in sensitive, altered tephras rich in spheroidal halloysite.

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  • Auchenflower

    Watson, R. T.

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Major design project - Survey of Auchenflower area, Canterbury NZ. 8 Maps with notes.

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  • Adolescent responses to relationship questions within solution-focused brief therapy

    Shanks, Kate (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    In Western society, adolescence is a period of major transition from child to adult. While there are different views about the chronological age of adolescence, there are agreements across research that young people have limited emotional capabilities and heightened tendency to engage in risk-taking behaviour. The presence of these characteristics is supported by recent research on adolescent brain development that indicates that different parts of the brain enable particular functioning to develop at different times This literature has the potential to inform the way that I can best counsel young adults. In this research I describe a small research project in which I analysed transcripts of young people who volunteered to participate in my exploration of their experience of a solutionfocused technique called the relationship question. Four young people participated, each for 3-5 counselling sessions. In analysing the transcripts I found three key themes emerged. These were: Transitioning Relationship with Parents; Self Awareness and Reciprocity in Adolescent Relationships and Empathy and Values. Furthermore, I discovered ways that my practice influenced the ability of clients to use the relationship question. While some of the findings support the literature on characteristics of adolescents in Western society, I propose that, when adolescents are invited to describe important relationships in a respectful counselling interview, they are able to demonstrate some characteristics that challenge this literature. My hope is that through a social constructionist lens this research captures their responses with integrity and meaning so that others may capture what it may feel like to be an adolescent in todays’ society. This research contributes to the limited evidence of ways that adolescents experience solutionfocused practice. Implications for other practitioners are discussed.

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  • Evaluating Alliance Non-cost Performance Measurement

    Beckman-Cross, Trent Ryan (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Effective performance measurement is critical to organisation and project management success and has been extensively studied in both disciplines. However, there is a wide range of research that criticises the current use and understanding of performance measurement and management in the construction industry. Alliancing is a performance based collaborative project delivery method where the Owner and non-Owner participants share in the outcomes of a project through the formation of a temporary organisation. Sharing in outcomes is facilitated by a risk/reward commercial model where the amount the non-owner participants gain or lose is determined by the value of any cost underruns or overruns against a pre-agreed Target Outturn Cost and performance in non-cost key result areas. Despite the obvious importance of non-cost performance to both the Owner and NOP, there is limited research that specifically looks at non-cost performance measurement in alliances. This research uses a case study approach to investigate non-cost performance management of the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) programme alliance. Three focal points were established to study the non-cost performance of SCIRT. Firstly, analyse how non-cost performance is measured and managed in the uncertain and complex environment that exists for an alliance programme. Secondly, examine the effect of using the three limb compensation model in conjunction with a project allocation model. Finally, a theoretical performance measurement framework for alliance organisations is developed based on programme document analysis, a literature review and evaluation by members of an alliance management team. Document analysis, literature review, and semi-structured interviews were the primary research instruments used to analyse and gather multiple sources of data including programme management plans and data, and responses to semi-structured interviews. This thesis found that a flexible approach to performance measurement using a refined set of Key Performance Indicators in conjunction with rigorous management processes is required to measure and manage non-cost performance in an uncertain environment. Secondly, SCIRT used a commercial model intended to balance collaboration and competition between the NOPs. The typical limb three calculation used for alliances was used to drive collaboration. A project allocation model was used to motivate competition and provided a more immediate incentive for outstanding performance. The immediate financial impact of the project allocation model made it a more powerful driver of non-cost performance compared with the less tangible financial effect of the Limb 3 calculation. Finally, a theoretical framework was developed that converted alliance critical success factors into a set of interactions that illustrates the organisational factors necessary for an alliance to be successful.

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