2,488 results for Victoria University of Wellington, Masters

  • Devils & dust

    Brechin-Smith, David (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A screenplay.

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  • Ranking Sound Insulation Regulations: Giving New Zealand an International Context

    Merwood, Yasmin (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Sufficient sound insulation is required between tenancies to provide protection from noise intrusion which otherwise can be a major source of suffering for building occupants. Sound insulation of residential buildings has a key role in providing building occupant satisfaction and health. In New Zealand (NZ), sound insulation regulations dictate the minimum airborne and impact sound insulation performance between abutting tenancies. These requirements are currently specified in Clause G6 of the NZ Building Code (published in 1992, amended 1995). In 2010, it was proposed that that the performance requirements be changed. These changes included increased sound insulation, different measurement methods, different sound insulation descriptors (unit) and including a wider scope of building elements, e.g. including services, between common spaces, doorways etc. Part of the justification for these changes was that they would enable NZ to catch up with ‘international practice’ (2010). However, there is limited information regarding the performance required by sound insulation regulations internationally, other than a small number of studies-based on European regulations. This research investigates how ‘international practice’ might be established. The research develops a methodology, which enables a comparison of the performance requirements of residential airborne sound insulation regulations. As a proof of concept, this research then pilot tests the methodology, focussing on testing how regulations from around the world would compare if applied in NZ. Six regulations were selected for the pilot test; The Building Code of Australian; the National Building Code of Canada; the New York City Building Code; the Republic of Ireland Technical Document E and the two versions of the NZ Building Code (1992, amended 1995 and the 2010 proposed changes). The sampled regulations encompass four descriptors and the use of two different organisational bodies from countries across three continents. The regulations were assessed for their airborne sound insulation performance requirements between abutting tenancies. These requirements were then compared to determine which required a greater or lesser sound insulation performance. Due to the range of descriptors and performance levels of the various regulations the comparison was not a straightforward mathematical one. Instead, computer simulation was used to convert the various performance requirements into the all the descriptors used by the regulations. This was done using construction-based tests. The comparison was based on the regulations being applied in New Zealand. This was carried out using ten different NZ-based construction-types; e.g. double timber stud and concrete pre-cast panel systems. The comparative regulation performance requirements for each of these constructions were ranked from highest to lowest (with 1st Rank being the highest performance required and the ranking number increasing as the performance requirement decreases). The transmission loss result from each of tests was then used to quantify the difference between the ranks found. It was found the Australian Building Code required the highest airborne sound insulation of any of the regulations for abutting tenancies (1st rank). This was more than double Ireland’s required performance. This was followed by the proposed changes to the NZ Building Code (2nd), then the current version of the NZ Building Code (3rd); the National Canadian Building Code and the New York codes were ranked 4th equal and finally Ireland ranked last (6th). The research found NZ (Proposed) requirements were not consistently higher than that already specified in NZ (Current). In some cases e.g. double timber stud construction, NZ (Current) actually requires a higher airborne sound insulation performance. The evidence in this research suggests that the performance requirements of NZ (Proposed) would need to be increased to improve on NZ (Current) across all constructions-types. However, it was the found the findings of the pilot test may be confined only to the elements tested. A full expansion of testing into the comparisons of field units may yield further interesting results and contrast the results found through the design units (laboratory-based descriptors).

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  • Shifting Downtown

    Dewhirst, Winston (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Tendency: Haphazard development consumes the landscape stripping it of character and disrupting natural processes. Development of this type is prevalent in small growing rural towns featuring foreign urban designs transposed over the land which create a conflict between permanent urban infrastructure and the transient landscape. Natural processes have become ‘natural hazards’, and the landscape has become ‘green spaces’ which are completely indifferent to the original landscape character. The Thesis looks at the possibility of settlement patterns which retrofit the natural systems into an urban framework. This forms a symbiotic relationship between movement patterns of natural processes and the urban development patterns, aiming to keep the original character of the landscape as the urban centres identity and give space for natural systems to function. The town of Paraparaumu is used as a case study.

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  • Guardians of the Park: Intensifying development along the edge of urban green space within Christchurch.

    Willis, James (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    On February 22 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Canterbury region causing widespread damage to both Christchurch city and surrounding areas. The quake devastated the city taking lives and causing significant damage to building and land infrastructure both in the inner city and the eastern suburbs. Whilst there has been significant investment and re-development within the central city much of the eastern areas have been neglected. Over 7000 homes have been demolished in the eastern residential red zone leaving a large swathe of land which stretches from the edge of the city centre to New Brighton. With such significant infrastructure being lost much of the city has shifted west with further developments being planned on the outskirts of the city adding to the existing problem of planned urban sprawl that had begun long before 2011. This thesis explores opinions for the eastern residential red zone, building upon existing proposals to turn the area into an urban forest – letting the area return to nature and transforming it into a place where the city celebrates the environment rather than fighting against it. What happens on the edge of this emerging green space will be key to how the eastern suburbs begin to recover post-earthquake and also how successfully this space is integrated into a city with a changing identity. At the urban scale, the proposal explores opinions for the edge of this developing green space through the development of 6 nodes or ‘Guardians of the Park’. These nodes draw from Peter Calthorpe’s theory of the pedestrian pocket, creating a series of interconnected areas of intensification that stretch from the edge of the CBD following the Avon River to New Brighton. Each node is walking distance from significant transport infrastructure and intended to reinforce the city’s connection with the green space through a form of mixed use development with housing, light retail and a number of recreational facilities. Through these nodes the design case study explores the potential for architecture on the edge of this green corridor to be increased in density and stimulate more significant redevelopment in the east though providing access to this new amenity. It explores access to and connection with both open space and recreational activity incorporating theories of increased density housing development and public transport.

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  • Infestations as a Natural Disaster: The Economic Impacts of the Fonterra Whey Protein Concentrate Contamination Incident

    Stojkov, Katarina (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper presents the results from an investigation into the economic implications for New Zealand of the 2013 Whey Protein Concentrate contamination incident (popularly known as the Fonterra Botulism scare). It assesses the impact of this incident to dairy exports using synthetic control methods. A synthetic counterfactual scenario where the incident did not occur is developed using weighted averages of the dairy exports of countries unaffected by the scare. The research finds that there was an initial negative shock to the exports of products that were thought to have been contaminated, but that there were no significant sustained impacts on other dairy products. The affected products make up only a small proportion of New Zealand dairy exports, with the vast majority of dairy exports being unaffected products. Infant formula exports appear to have recovered somewhat in the long run, however whey product exports remain lower than they otherwise would have been.

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  • Using BIM to calculate accurate building material quantities for early design phase Life Cycle Assessment

    Berg, Brian (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research simplifies the calculation of the Initial Embodied Energy (iEE) for commercial office buildings. The result is the improved integration of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) assessments of building materials into the early stages of the building design process (sketch design). This maximises the effectiveness of implementing design solutions to lower a building’s environmental impact. This thesis research proposes that building Information Models (BIM) will make calculating building material quantities easier, to simplify LCA calculations, all to improve their integration into existing sketch design phase practices, and building design decisions. This is achieved by developing a methodology for using BIM LCA tools to calculate highly detailed material quantities from a simple BIM model of sketch design phase building information. This is methodology is called an Initial Embodied Energy Building Information Model Life Cycle Assessment Building Performance Sketch (iEE BIM LCA BPS). Using this methodology calculates iEE results that are accurate, and represent a sufficient proportion (complete) of a building’s total iEE consumption, making them useful for iEE decision-making. iEE is one example of a LCA-based indicator that was used to test, and prove the feasibility of the iEE BIM LCA BPS methodology. Proving this, the research method tests the accuracy that a BIM model can calculate case study building’s building material quantities. This included developing; a methodology for how to use the BIM tool Revit to calculate iEE; a functional definition of an iEE BIM LCA BPS based on the environmental impact, and sketch design decisions effecting building materials, and elements; and an EE simulation calibration accuracy assessment methodology, complete with a function definition of the accuracy required of an iEE simulation to ensure it’s useful for sketch design decision-making. Two main tests were conducted as part of proving the iEE BIM LCA BPS’ feasibility. Test one assessed and proved that the iEE BIM LCA BPS model based on sketch design information does represent a sufficient proportion (complete) of a building’s total iEE consumption, so that are useful for iEE decision-making. This was tested by comparing the building material quantities from a SOQ (SOQ) produced to a sketch design level of detail (truth model 3), to an as-built level of detail, defined as current iEE best practices (truth model 1). Subsequent to proving that the iEE BIM LCA BPS is sufficiently complete, test two assessed if a BIM model and tool could calculate building material quantities accurately compared to truth model 3. The outcome was answering the research question of, how detailed does a BIM model need to be to calculate accurate building material quantities for a building material LCA (LCA) assessment? The inference of this thesis research is a methodology for using BIM models to calculate the iEE of New Zealand commercial office buildings in the early phases of the design process. The outcome was that a building design team’s current level of sketch design phase information is sufficiently detailed for sketch design phase iEE assessment. This means, that iEE and other LCA-based assessment indicators can be integrated into a design team’s existing design process, practices, and decisions, with no restructuring required.

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  • Exploring opportunities for developing intercultural competence through intercultural communicative language teaching (ICLT): A case study in a Chinese as a foreign language classroom in a New Zealand high school

    Kennedy, Juliet Vicary (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This qualitative case study explores naturally arising opportunities for developing intercultural competence through intercultural communicative language teaching (ICLT) in a New Zealand high school Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) classroom. Although developing intercultural competence is a goal of many school curriculums, teacher awareness and implementation of effective intercultural pedagogies is not yet wellestablished. Exploring the naturally arising occurrences of intercultural teaching practices and behaviours in one classroom with no formal knowledge of ICLT provides evidence of how culture may be currently understood and approached in comparative settings. Existing views on culture provide a starting point for further developing ICLT. Data collection methods included classroom observations, stimulated recall, unstructured and semi-structured interviews, and written reflections. One teacher and three students from an intermediate level CFL class participated in the study from June to September 2015. The findings show that while some intercultural pedagogies and behaviours occurred naturally, without an explicit focus on developing intercultural competence students are unlikely to develop the skills, attitudes, and traits which make up intercultural competence in the language classroom. This study suggests that the current cultural activities in class could be transformed into opportunities for developing intercultural competence by adding a regular comparative, connective, and reflective dimension, incorporating the students’ linguistic and cultural experiences. The results of this study illustrate the necessity of expanding teacher awareness and skills in practising ICLT to promote the development of intercultural competence and to increase students’ interest in learning languages in New Zealand.

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  • Scavenging amphipods of the Tonga Trench: an analysis of community assemblage and population structure

    Wilson, James Peter Ashley (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The hadal zone is the common name for the deepest section of the ocean (6,000-11,000 m depth). It encompasses 45 % of the ocean’s depth range, and is mostly represented by oceanic trenches. Trench habitats lack sufficient sampling and the communities within are not well understood. Often, samples are derived from a single depth and thus the population dynamics of trench communities have not been analysed comprehensively. Scavenging amphipods are abundant and diverse taxa in the trench environment, and have been found in every trench sampled to date. They rapidly intercept and consume carrion falls at the deepest trench depths, and act as key prey items to predators in the shallower depths of the hadal zone. There appears to be a relationship of increasing abundance and decreasing diversity of scavenging amphipods with depth. However in the Tonga Trench, sampling of hadal amphipods has been limited, and these patterns remain unclear. The QUELLE (Quest for the Limit of Life) project in 2013 was led by The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). As part of this project, the YOK 13-10 voyage examined scavenging amphipods in the Tonga Trench. The voyage used baited traps to sample depths of ˜6,250 m and ˜10,800 m from October 6 – October 21 in 2013. The main objectives of the present study were to: identify scavenging amphipod assemblages within the Tonga Trench and compare them to other trenches of the South Pacific; analyse the population structure of Hirondellea dubia between depths in the Tonga Trench; and identify a suitable total length proxy for H. dubia. Six species of amphipods were identified from depths of ˜6,250 m and ˜10,800 m in the Tonga Trench. At ˜6,250 m Alicella gigantea, Eurythenes gryllus, H. dubia, Bathycallisoma schellenbergi, an alicellid species, and a gammarid species were recovered. In contrast, H. dubia was the only species recovered from ˜10,800 m. The abundance of amphipods was higher at the ˜10,800 m site while the diversity was much lower. The assemblage of scavenging amphipods in the Tonga Trench was similar to those from past sampling efforts in the same trench. There were also similarities to the assemblages in the adjacent Kermadec Trench, and together these observations support the classification of these two trenches as a single biogeographic province. The assemblages in the Peru-Chile Trench in the South East Pacific were more dissimilar sharing only a few species. The present study provides new Tonga Trench records of the vertical ranges of A. gigantea, E. gryllus, and H. dubia. It also extends the maximum known depth of H. dubia to 10,807 m. This thesis expanded our current knowledge of A. gigantea, by reporting the first instance of this large amphipod in the Tonga Trench, and the second known instance of the species at hadal depths. An analysis of Hirondellea dubia population structure revealed ontogenetic vertical structuring in the Tonga Trench. Juveniles dominated the composition in the shallow end of the H. dubia vertical range, while very few juveniles were found at the deepest site. Juveniles were substantially smaller at ˜6,250 m compared to ˜10,800 m, and this may suggest that juveniles migrate down the trench slope with increasing age. The most likely mechanism for distributing juveniles to the shallower depths is the ascending migration of brooding females. However, this is still not certain as no brooding females were captured. The shallower depth provides a higher quality of food source and the reduced hydrostatic pressure allows for a faster metabolic rate. Thus, this distribution is likely driven by the distribution of food sources throughout the trench in combination with hydrostatic pressure. The dimensions of several established proxies for total length were evaluated for H. dubia. Pereonite 2-7 had the strongest correlation to total length, however it was highly distorted by dorsal curvature. Both the pereonite 2-7 and the pleosome were considered inaccurate due to sexual dimorphism making them inappropriate as proxies. Pereonite 1 was proportionately larger in juvenile lifestages. However, overall pereonite 1 was considered the strongest candidate for a proxy, this is because it was the least influenced by dorsal curvature and was a conspicuous segment that was easy to measure.

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  • Playing the Game and Pulling the Fingers: Working for and against the modern University

    Guthrie, O.D. (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Todays’ universities are constantly evolving, and yet they are deeply traditional institutions that bring together often contradictory agendas, with multiple roles and expectations for those working within. I look towards the academics within these universities in order to get a better understanding of what happens when the personal meets the institutional. By reflecting on my time as a student, and talking with thirteen New Zealand academics and post-graduates who in various ways challenge dominant ideas around academia, I aim to broaden and disrupt the academic imagination. Rather than think of this project as an academic study on academia, I like to think of it as me, a student, re-telling the stories of academics; seeking their wisdom, tactics and gaining inspiration from their ability to ‘do’ academia their way, even in today’s tight confines.

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  • “But I am still a girl after all”: A Discourse Analysis of Femininities in Popular Japanese Manga Comics

    Nishiyama, Yurika (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Where progression towards gender equality is concerned, Japan lags behind most other developed countries with its culture which heavily values tradition. However, its traditional gender roles may be changing as the birth-rate declines and women take up the increasing opportunities opening up for them in the workplace. Within the contexts of these tensions between traditionalism and change, this study investigated the constructions of femininity in popular Japanese manga, one of the most consumed forms of media in Japan which also enjoys global popularity. As such, this study approached manga as a potentially important resource for identifying the available meanings of being a young Japanese woman in contemporary Japanese society. To date, little research has examined manga, and much of the available literature has used content analysis or focused solely on superheroine characters and the romantic interest. As a point of difference, this research implemented discursive analyses and sought to identify a range of femininities made available to readers in manga. It examined four titles within two genres of manga: the shounen genre targeted to male audiences and the shoujo manga, targeted at a female audience. The research employed a feminist, poststructuralist framework to identify the ways in which constructions of femininity in manga drew on dominant Japanese discourses of femininity as well as more globally produced postfeminist discourses associated with popular culture. The study found that manga overall produced femininities within both traditional and contemporary postfeminist discourses. Analyses also highlighted the limited meanings of femininity made available to young female audiences of shoujo manga through dominant postfeminist, empty representations of ‘empowerment’ whilst also underlining the problematic dominance of sexist portrayals of young women in shounen manga. Further, the storylines of shoujo manga were found to be replete with romantic narratives, prioritising romance and marriage as a means to happiness. These findings may identify the implications of such femininities on how young Japanese women view themselves, and are viewed by others globally.

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  • Blue Cod, Parapercis Colias, Maturity, Fecundity, Sex Change, and Potential Drivers of Sex Ratio in The Marlborough Sounds

    Brandt, Kasper (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Blue cod, Parapercis colias (Pinguipedidae), are widely considered to be the most important recreational finfish species in the South Island. However, blue cod have been declining in abundance in the Marlborough Sounds for many years, and currently, sex ratios are highly male- biased. Blue cod are believed to be a socially structured hermaphroditic species whose populations are prone to local depletion. A potting survey in the Marlborough Sounds was carried out by NIWA in 2013, and along with environmental measurements, 3247 blue cod were measured, weighed, sexed, and stage of sexual maturity was classified macroscopically at sea. Gonads from a subsample of these fish were removed and preserved. In Chapter Two, the preserved gonads were processed histologically and a species-specific histological maturity key was developed. Histological and macroscopic maturity classifications and length-at-maturity estimates were compared. Additionally, estimates of spawning frequency and batch fecundity were made using histological and gravimetric methods. In Chapter Three, possible drivers of sex ratio were investigated using the survey data. Density, large male influence, and environmental factors were considered. In Chapter Four, the feasibility of using digital imaging software to age blue cod otoliths was investigated using the OtolithM application in ImagePro Premier. There was poor agreement between macroscopic and histological maturity classifications (20%, overall). Macroscopic methods overestimated the proportion of mature fish at length in the larger sample, which led to biased length-at-50% maturity (L₅₀) estimates. Macroscopic L₅₀ estimates differed markedly from histology estimates. Using histological data, male L₅₀ was 26 cm TL. Histology indicated that there was no length at which 100% of females were mature. Therefore, a three-parameter capped logistic model was used. Histologically, female L₅₀ was 23.6 cm TL, and the Cap was 0.78, indicating the proportion of mature females reached an asymptote at 0.78. Spawning frequency was 4.6 days, and mean relative batch fecundity was 6.5 hydrated oocytes per gram body weight (SD = 3.3). Hermaphroditism was confirmed for blue cod and was macroscopically identifiable. The analyses in Chapter Three indicated that density had some effect on sex ratio, and large males influenced local sex ratios. Finally, the imaging software could not accurately estimate age compared to an expert reader, and it produced highly variable age estimates. This research found that the macroscopic maturity classifications for blue cod were inaccurate, and revision of the macroscopic key is suggested. The biased estimates of L₅₀ from macroscopic data could lead to biased estimates of spawning stock biomass (SSB). Batch fecundity was markedly lower than the previously reported estimates. The finding of a macroscopically identifiable hermaphroditic stage suggested that ‘hermaphrodite’ should be added as a sex class in the macroscopic key. From the GLM in Chapter Three, in more dense populations, the proportion of males increased. This may have been from changes to male mating strategies, or density may influence the occurrence of primary and secondary males. Finally, areas with males > 45 cm TL had a higher proportion of females, suggesting that large males should be protected in order to help balance sex ratios.

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  • Investigating the modulation of methylphenidate’s effects on impulsivity by fluoxetine

    Chittenden, Rosemary (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The co-prescribing of methylphenidate (MPH) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for patients presenting co-morbidly with both attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression or anxiety is in some cases recommended. Little research has been conducted on the specific cognitive and behavioural outcomes of this. Studies with rats have shown that SSRI’s potentiate MPH-induced dopamine release in the pre-frontal cortex, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens, as well as enhancing MPH-induced hyper-locomotion (Borycz, Zapata, Quiroz, Volkow, & Ferré, 2008; Weikop, Yoshitake, & Kehr, 2007b). Impulsivity is a behavioural construct with dissociable sub-types, of which one, ‘action restraint’, has been consistently shown to be associated with increased dopamine activity in the mesolimbic system, including the nucleus accumbens. It was hypothesised that rats would make more ‘no-go’ errors in a Go/No-Go task, indicative of an increase in ‘action restraint’ type impulsivity, when co-administered fluoxetine (FLX) and MPH compared to either drug administered alone. Although this was not shown in the current study, tentative evidence was found to suggest that the combination of these drugs may negatively impact on attention, based on a decrease in ‘go’ accuracy. A second subtype of impulsivity, “action cancellation”, was tested using a new variant of the Stop-Signal Reaction Time (SSRT) task that we have developed for rats. Studies show that this subtype of impulsivity seems to be unaffected by changes in dopamine activity, but is improved by increases in norepinephrine. In the Weikop study mentioned above, the SSRI citalopram enhanced not only MPH-induced dopamine release, but also norepinephrine release in the nucleus accumbens. Thus it was hypothesised that FLX may potentiate MPH’s impulsivity-reducing effects as measured by stopping latency in the SSRT. We were not able to show this in the current study, however the demonstration that lower doses of MPH reduced stopping latency, consistent with previous versions of the SSRT, validated the new version developed for the current study. A final experiment revealed a rapid, short-term increase in locomotor activity when rats were co-administered FLX and MPH, an effect not present when either drug was administered singly. This synergistic effect replicates previous findings, and indicates a potentiation of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, as was found in previous studies. Although FLX was not found to moderate MPH’s effects on impulsivity in the current study, synergistic effects of the two drugs were effects were found on motor activity and potentially on attention also. This is an indication of the value of further research into specific behavioural and cognitive process that may be affected by co-administration of MPH and an SSRI.

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  • The effect of MDMA self-administration on MDMA-produced hyperactivity and c-fos expression

    Bukholt, Natasha (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Background: MDMA preferentially releases serotonin (5HT) but following repeated exposure there is a decrease in this MDMA-produced effect. At the same time, some studies suggest an increase in MDMA-produced dopamine (DA) release following repeated exposure. The sensitised DA response is often accompanied by sensitisation of MDMA-produced locomotor activity. Because DAergic mechanisms have been implicated in the positively reinforcing properties of MDMA, these neuroadaptations might be relevant to MDMA self-administration. Objectives: The main objective of this study was to determine whether MDMA self-administration and non-contingent MDMA exposure differentially affected the development of sensitisation to MDMA-produced hyperactivity. Additionally, the relationship between MDMA-produced hyperactivity and changes in c-fos expression in DA terminal regions was determined. Methods: Triads of rats were designated ‘master’, ‘yoked MDMA’, or ‘yoked saline’. Lever press responding by the master rat resulted in an intravenous infusion of MDMA for both the master rat and the yoked MDMA rat, as well as an equal infusion of vehicle for the yoked control rat. Daily tests continued until a total of 350 mg/kg MDMA had been self-administered. Three days following the last self-administration session, forward and vertical locomotion produced by MDMA (5.0 mg/kg, i.p) were measured during a 2 hr test. Rats were sacrificed immediately following the behavioural test, and c-fos immunohistochemistry was measured. Results: Repeated MDMA exposure resulted in sensitised forward and vertical locomotor activity. Sensitisation of the increase in forward locomotion was produced only in rats that self-administered MDMA; non-contingent MDMA administration failed to sensitise this behavioural response. In contrast, sensitisation to MDMA-produced vertical activity was produced following both contingent and non-contingent MDMA exposure. C-fos expression was reduced in ventrolateral, and ventromedial areas of the dorsal striatum, as well as the infralimbic cortex, after MDMA exposure, regardless of whether the exposure was via self-administration or yoked administration. A selective decrease in c-fos expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core and the cingulate cortex was produced by MDMA self-administration. There was a negative correlation between MDMA-produced forward locomotor activity and MDMA-produced c-fos expression in the NAc core, cingulate cortex and infralimbic cortex. A negative correlation between rearing activity and MDMA-produced c-fos expression in the NAc core, NAc shell, cingulate cortex, and infralimbic cortex was also found. Conclusions: These data provide evidence of behavioural sensitisation as a result of repeated MDMA exposure. Furthermore, MDMA-produced behavioural sensitisation was associated with a decrease in c-fos expression that was evident in the NAc and prefrontal cortex. Finally, region-specific changes in c-fos expression suggest an important role of neuroadaptations in the NAc core and the infralimbic cortex as a consequence of MDMA self-administration.

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  • Application of the precautionary principle during consenting processes in New Zealand: Addressing past errors, obtaining a normative fix and developing a structured and operationalised approach

    Scott, Dale (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The precautionary principle is increasingly being adopted as a legal risk management tool in international environmental law and regulation, especially in the marine context. In fact, over the last 35 years it has been included, often as a central feature, in the vast majority of international law instruments relating to protection and management of the environment. This rise to prominence is largely driven by widespread recognition that the ability of environmental law to successfully avert long term and significant harm is very much contingent on the successful implementation and application of the precautionary principle (specifically, the decision-making and planning measures it advocates). Owing to the above, it is unsurprising that like many other countries New Zealand has incorporated the precautionary principle expressly and implicitly into domestic law and policy over the last 25 years. The most recent and arguably most notable instance of the incorporation of the precautionary principle in New Zealand law is in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (“EEZ Act”). Indeed, for reasons explained in this paper, the success of the EEZ Act will in large part depend on the successful application of the precautionary principle contained in the Act. Unfortunately, New Zealand’s incorporation and application of the precautionary principle to date has been problematic, with confusion and a variety of approaches taken to its core concepts, and arguably outright misapplication of it. For this reason, this paper seeks to take comprehensive stock of the precautionary principle, first to identify what is the likely cause of such confusion and misapplication, and second, to provide a foundational understanding to assist policy makers and the courts with the task of operationalising and applying it during legislative consenting processes. In doing so, this paper focuses on its operation in the marine setting, with a view to assisting with its interpretation and application under the EEZ Act. It argues that in order to secure consistent and proper application of the precautionary principle, significant work needs to be done to clarify definitional ambiguities embedded within the principle. It then argues that further work needs to be done to properly operationalise the New Zealand formulations of the precautionary principle (i.e. unpack the substantive content of the principle and pin down what such content requires of decision-makers in practice) so they can be consistently and correctly applied under New Zealand’s environmental risk management regimes.

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  • The Two Faces of Ascorbate: Prooxidant Activity and Radio-Sensitisation

    Carson, Georgia (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Although not recommended by mainstream oncologists, intravenous injections of pharmacological ascorbate are currently an alternative therapy option for cancer patients. Research has not yet determined whether high-dose ascorbate interacts favourably with radiation therapy to increase DNA damage, and therefore cell death in cancer. Some studies suggest that ascorbate can act as a prooxidant and increase the cytotoxic effect of irradiation in vitro. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a primary brain astrocytoma that is highly therapy resistant, so patients would be advantaged if ascorbate radiosensitised their cancer. In this investigation, flow cytometry and single cell gel electrophoresis (comet tail assay) were used to measure three indicators of DNA damage in GBM cells in response to ascorbate and irradiation, and were contrasted with immunofluorescence-revealed DNA damage from an intracranial mouse model of GBM. The pro-oxidant, radiosensitisation role of ascorbate was confirmed, as measured by H2AX, 8OHdG, and DSBs in vitro. With all three of these markers of DNA damage, combinations of irradiation and ascorbate had increased damage compared with individual treatments. However preliminary in vivo evidence indicates that increased DNA damage did not occur in an animal model of GBM, and in fact ascorbate may protect from DNA damage in an in vivo context. These findings complement previous results from our lab, and serve to fill in gaps in knowledge specifically around the DNA damaging effects of ascorbate. The unique nature of the brain environment, as enclosed by the blood brain barrier, prevents translation of data from other non-brain cancer studies, as such, this investigation also contributes to the exploration of a much needed avenue of research. Considering the context of ascorbate treatment as a potentially harmful currently used adjuvant, it is imperative to confirm or disprove its efficacy in a clinically relevant environment.

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  • Who knows what and who has the rights to know it?: Knowledge and reality construction in interaction

    Edmonds, David (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Knowledge has been at the centre of philosophical and scientific enquiry for centuries. It remains a topic of central importance in psychology. The current thesis examined how knowledge was managed and treated as relevant by speakers in social interaction in situ. Complaint calls to a dispute resolution telephone helpline service were studied using discursive psychology and conversation analysis as theoretical and methodological frameworks. The thesis focused on how knowledge was implicated in the accomplishment of the institutional task of jointly establishing the facts of the complaint. In particular, the research examined how the issues of ‘who knows what’ and ‘who has the rights to know it’ were demonstrably relevant for speakers in these interactions. The empirical work focused on two types of question-answer sequences. In cases where some requested information was not forthcoming or not immediately provided, callers’ conduct displayed their orientations to a normative expectation that they knew what was asked for and that they had an obligation to provide it. A second set of cases was a collection of declarative requests for confirmation. The different types of responses to such questions were described. It was proposed that the responses could be placed along a continuum, by the extent to which they asserted a caller’s epistemic rights to knowledge about the relevant information. The thesis contributed to existing research by drawing together recent conversation analytic work on epistemics as a domain of organization in social interaction, and more established discursive psychological work on reality construction. The thesis highlighted the practical nature of knowledge, as it was relevant for accomplishing a key institutional task, and other actions, in telephone-mediated dispute resolution.

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  • Matroids, Cyclic Flats, and Polyhedra

    Prideaux, Kadin (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Matroids have a wide variety of distinct, cryptomorphic axiom systems that are capable of defining them. A common feature of these is that they are able to be efficiently tested, certifying whether a given input complies with such an axiom system in polynomial time. Joseph Bonin and Anna de Mier, rediscovering a theorem first proved by Julie Sims, developed an axiom system for matroids in terms of their cyclic flats and the ranks of those cyclic flats. As with other matroid axiom systems, this is able to be tested in polynomial time. Distinct, non-isomorphic matroids may each have the same lattice of cyclic flats, and so matroids cannot be defined solely in terms of their cyclic flats. We do not have a clean characterisation of families of sets that are cyclic flats of matroids. However, it may be possible to tell in polynomial time whether there is any matroid that has a given lattice of subsets as its cyclic flats. We use Bonin and de Mier’s cyclic flat axioms to reduce the problem to a linear program, and show that determining whether a given lattice is the lattice of cyclic flats of any matroid corresponds to finding integral points in the solution space of this program, these points representing the possible ranks that may be assigned to the cyclic flats. We distinguish several classes of lattice for which solutions may be efficiently found, based upon the nature of the matrix of coefficients of the linear program, and of the polyhedron it defines, and then identify families of lattice that belong to those classes. We define operations and transformations on lattices of sets by examining matroid operations, and examine how these operations affect membership in the aforementioned classes. We conjecture that it is always possible to determine, in polynomial time, whether a given collection of subsets makes up the lattice of cyclic flats of any matroid.

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  • The Improvisation of Tubby Hayes in 'The New York Sessions'

    Alton-Lee, Amity Rose (2010)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Tubby (Edward Brian) Hayes; prodigious self taught multi-instrumentalist and virtuoso tenor saxophone player has been proclaimed by some to be the best saxophonist that Britain has ever produced: "Indisputably the most accomplished and characterful British jazzman of his generation." His career, although cut short (he died undergoing treatment for a heart condition in June 1973, aged 38) was perpetually intense, incredibly prolific, and non-stop from his debut at the age of fifteen until his premature death. Hayes was proficient on many instruments; all saxophones, clarinet, flute, violin and vibraphone as well as being an accomplished bandleader and arranger. However it was his virtuoso tenor saxophone playing that found him acclaim. Although well known in his time and widely renowned for his ability, Hayes until recently has been little studied. It is only in the last few years that many critics and students of jazz have attempted to gain an understanding of Hayes' improvisational concept, which has been both praised as genius and criticised as directionless: Tubby Hayes has often been lionized as the greatest saxophonist Britain ever produced. He is a fascinating but problematical player. Having put together a big, rumbustious tone and a delivery that features sixteenth notes spilling impetuously out of the horn, Hayes often left a solo full of brilliant loose ends and ingenious runs that led nowhere in particular... However, Hayes, his legacy, and his inimitable style of tenor saxophone playing would truly leave their mark on the British Jazz community for generations to come. Dave Gelly summed up Hayes by saying that Tubby "played Cockney tenor - garrulous, pugnacious, never at a loss for a word and completely unstoppable."

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  • The Way of Steve Lacy: Finding Individuality through Musical Genealogy

    Johnson, Lucien (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research project traces Lacy’s life in music, looking at his long period of apprenticeship, the brief but important period in which he focussed exclusively on free improvisation, and the subsequent years spent formulating and creating his own music. It uses both musical analysis of his improvisations and his compositions and commentary on the path he chose, in an attempt to define his place in 20th century music and the legacy he leaves us. The second part of the project involves my own compositions, which investigate areas similar to those which Lacy explored in his lifetime. These include finding a relationship between composition and improvisation in which both methods are given equal value. Their respective qualities, such as the collective interplay found in improvisation or the structure that composition supplies, are being cultivated. The point of these works is not to investigate methods of composition or conduction in which improvisation or semi-improvisation can be integrated. In this music the improvisers have as few limitations as possible, so that they are free to improvise. The works merely look to find a balance where these two methods can co-exist. The pieces are mostly idiomatic although they use genre as a point of departure rather than a fixed entity. They attempt to transcend, or in some cases to subvert, the idiom to which they are referring. They have been written intuitively and developed and refined through live performance. The compositions for the ensemble, The Troubles, were developed over a year of weekly live performances and there was a degree of autonomy and democracy for all the performers. A score in this music is perhaps akin to many of the practices to be found in the creation of contemporary theatre, where a text can be treated, elaborated upon, toyed with, where there are moments where things have been devised by the ensemble, rather than viewed as a sacred object. It is possible to imagine that Lacy too worked in this manner with his regular group. In these pieces I have tried to heed Braque’s lessons, and to avoid mimicry, yet in this work I hope to capture something of the spirit of Steve Lacy.

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  • Decadal Climate Oscillations, Synoptic Variability, and Ice Core Climate Proxy Records in the Ross Sea Region, Antarctica

    Markle, Bradley Ross (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis investigates synoptic variability in the Ross Sea region, Antarctica and develops geochemical proxies of this variability from an ice core record in Southern Victoria Land. Particular focus is given to the influence of decadal climate oscillations on synoptic conditions and potential records of these oscillations in ice core proxy records as long-­‐term records of these oscillations are important for understanding future climate change. I present an investigation of the joint influence of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) on variability in the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), a dominant climatological feature that strongly influences the weather in the Ross Sea region. It is shown that the positive phase of each oscillation is associated with significant strengthening of the ASL, while negative phases are associated with a weakening. Through regression analysis I show that a simple linear combination of indices representing these oscillations can explain more than 40% of the geopotential height variance in the AS region at a seasonal scale and over 70% of the variance at an annual scale. These results are consistent with the known mechanisms of ENSO and SAM interaction in the region and show that while SAM is dominant hemispherically, ENSO is only influential in the Pacific Sector. Finally it is demonstrated that a simple model of linear reinforcement and interference between the oscillations describes their influence on the variability in the ASL better than models incorporating more complex interactions. Atmospheric back-­‐trajectory modeling and cluster analysis are used to investigate synoptic variability at the Gawn Ice Piedmont (GIP) ice core site in the Ross Sea Region, Antarctica. I identify two dominant air-­‐mass trajectory clusters: oceanic – cyclonic and continental trajectories. My analysis shows that oceanic – cyclonic trajectories peak during April (southern hemisphere winter), while continental trajectories reach their maximum during December (summer). A causal association is demonstrated between ENSO and the frequency of oceanic – cyclonic trajectories originating from the Ross Sea region. In contrast, it is shown that the Southern Annular Mode has little influence on the frequency of cyclonic clusters. I then develop proxy records for the synoptic variability using a shallow firn core from the GIP site containing 8 years of geochemical record. Continental trajectories correlate with concentrations of nitrate (NO3), which is sourced from stratospheric air-­‐masses descending over the Antarctic interior. Oceanic – cyclonic trajectory clusters strongly correlate with deuterium excess at seasonal and inter-­‐annual scales, a proxy sensitive to changes in relative humidity and sea surface temperature (SST) in the in the Ross and Amundsen Seas. Decadal variability in the frequency of oceanic – cyclonic trajectories is discussed with respect to ENSO, SAM, and changes in SST and sea ice extent.

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