9,048 results for 2010, Masters

  • Evaluation of utilisation of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Programme in Central province, Kenya

    Ngugi, Catherine Njeri (2013)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background: The PMTCT HIV programme has been one of the most successful HIV preventive interventions towards HIV-free future generations. However, even though the programme is virtually effective in developed countries, many developing countries are reporting child HIV infections due to the MTCT. The programme has existed in Kenya for more than a decade, yet in 2011, 12,894children were HIV infected due to MTCT Objective: To evaluate the PMTCT programme, especially the HIV testing from the antenatal period to the postnatal period among expectant parents attending Nyeri Provincial General Hospital in Central Province, Kenya. Design: Retrospective analysis of the hospital registers. Methods: Three hospital registers were analysed for the period from July 2009 to September 2012. The registers were for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care respectively. Each register documented the utilisation of PMTCT services by the expectant parents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were produced to analyse data from the registers. Results: The PMTCT services utilisation was sub-optimal. Of the 504 expectant mothers who attended the antenatal clinic, 59.9% came once, 80.4% had their first visit in the third trimester (between weeks 28 and 40) and only 6.9% were accompanied by their partners. All the women were HIV tested in their first visit but only 12.1% were rescreened after three months, and only 3.8% had been tested prior to the current pregnancy (p=0.000). No expectant mother was tested for HIV intrapartum or postpartum. The children of the 504 mothers who were HIV tested were those whose parent/s were known to be HIV positive or who had presented to a child welfare clinic with recurring symptoms suggestive of a failing immune system. Conclusion: Public health programs need to strengthen the PMTCT and HIV prevention programmes to ensure that HIV testing preconception and in pregnancy is fully implemented and strengthened, alongside continued education of the public through community programmes and the media. To avert further horizontal and vertical transmission of HIV, there is a need to address urgently the identified missed opportunities in the PMTCT program. These programmatic challenges require health system redesign and strengthening, resource allocation, addressing research gaps and reassessing the current PMTCT policies.

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  • Evaluation of composite laminates interleaved with nanofibre and microfibre veils

    Collins-Gargan, Rosalie (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The research covered in this thesis aimed to investigate the use of nanofibre and microfibre veils in carbon fibre reinforced composites and assessed the potential of the veils to improve damage resistance during impact and fatigue loading. It was hypothesised that the interleavings would increase the amount of energy required for crack propagation because of toughening due to fibre reinforcement mechanisms such as crack deflection, fibre pull out and fibre breakage. The work was undertaken as a combined project between the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Revolution Fibres Ltd (Auckland, New Zealand). During this investigation, six thermoplastic polymers were chosen (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), polystyrene (PS), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polycarbonate (PC)) that could potentially be used for the electrospinning of polymer nanofibre veils. Nanofibre veils were successfully produced from PMMA, and a polymer blend of polyamide 6,6 (PA6,6) and PMMA, (referred to as 'nanoNyplex'). These veils, along with three other nanofibre veils (nanoPA6,6, poly vinyl butyral (nanoPVB), and poly ether sulfone (nanoPES)), three microfibre veils (polyphenylene sulfide (microPPS), polyetherimide (microPEI), and woven polyamide 6 (microtricot)) procured from other manufacturers, and three veils combining one of the nanofibre veils with each of the microfibre veils (microPPSnanoPA6,6, microPEInanoPA6,6, and microtricotnanoPA6,6) were then used as interleaves in the manufacture of carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composite panels. Interleaves were placed between every ply of prepreg. After curing the panels, test specimens were created to assess fatigue, vibration damping and compression after impact performance. From the vibration damping study, it was found that the nanoNyplex interleaving improved damping the most. It was thought that energy dissipation was due friction brought about by the movement of the interleaving fibres in the matrix, resulting in friction due to weak adhesion between the nanoNyplex fibres and the epoxy matrix. From the compression after impact (CAI) section of this study, it was found that specimens interleaved with nanoPA6,6, microPPS and microPPSnanoPA6,6 had the highest CAI strengths. From optical inspection, it appeared (in general) that as the CAI strength of the specimen increased, the length of the damage region also increased. However, those identified with the highest CAI strengths had shorter damage regions. From the fatigue section of this study, it was found that the use of most interleavings, (apart from microtricot) increased the number of cycles to failure. Post fatigue test scanning electron microscopy confirmed that crack deflection was present for most interleaved specimens. Some evidence of pull out and breakage of the interleaving fibres was seen on the fracture surfaces of the nanoPA6,6, microPPS, microPEI, microPEInanoPA6,6 and microPPSnanoPA6,6 interleaved specimens. For both CAI and fatigue, it was found that improvement was generally greater with veils that had a large number of fibres per unit area and high adhesion strength with the matrix. However, for CAI it seems that high fracture toughness was also desirable.

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  • Devils & dust

    Brechin-Smith, David (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A screenplay.

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  • Exploring noise sensitivity: cardiac correlates of noise sensitivity and the auditory evoked orienting response

    Mulgrew, Joseph (2014-05-12)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    A growing body of evidence suggests Noise Sensitivity (NS) moderates the relationship between noise exposure and stress-related disease. As NS is pronounced within several clinical disorders, its biological mechanisms are of clinical and epidemiological import. Central Neurovisceral Integrative System (NIS, Thayer & Brosschot, 2005) concepts were drawn from to argue that autonomic balance (AB) provides an influential biological mechanism underlying NS and, additionally, that AB and NS influence the Auditory Evoked Orientation Response (AEOR). Baseline Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and NS, as measured by the NS Questionnaire (Schütte, Marks, Wenning, & Griefahn, 2007), were collected from 103 Auckland University of Technology staff and students and were used to analyse the neurovisceral correlates of NS. Furthermore, 60 participants went on to provide cardiac data recorded during and post exposure to auditory stimuli of varying valence, which were used to analyse the influence of autonomic balance and NS on the AEOR. The results of the study provide some limited support for both propositions. Findings are discussed with reference to AB, total regulatory capacity, emotion, and orientating. Although questions are left unanswered, future research directions are postulated that could culminate in the development of both screening and treatment protocols with pronounced clinical applications.

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  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual clients’ experiences of discussing sexual identity in therapy

    Tsai, Sandy (2014-05-19)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The current study explores lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals’ experiences of discussing sexual identity in therapy. Current literature indicate that the absence of sexual identity issues being identified and discussed could be a significant barrier to effective therapy with LGB clients. However, little research has explored how sexual identity is conceptualized in therapy by LGB clients and their therapists, and how this influences their therapeutic outcomes. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), LGB clients’ experiences of discussing sexual identity in therapy was investigated. Results clustered into three overarching themes: 1. Sexual identity as self in the making; 2. Sexual identity as a barrier; and 3. Sexual identity as increased awareness of oppression. Discussion of sexual identity is important for LGB clients in therapy, regardless of whether it is the main focus of their presenting issues. These discussions help them explore their sexual identity formation processes, which result in a stronger sense of identity due to a better understanding of sexual identity as an aspect of themselves. LGB clients who lack such opportunities to discuss sexual identity in therapy experience heteronormative assumptions and biases from their therapists, which increased their awareness of themselves as individuals of sexual minority and empathy towards others under oppression. The current study concludes that therapists should remain open-minded and explorative when helping LGB clients discuss their sexual identities in therapy, but always in context to their presenting issues so that conceptualizations and sense-making of sexual identity is centred in the clients’ subjective experiences

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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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  • Stigma: You do your time, you come out and do more: A phenomenological analysis of the experiences of stigma as lived by ex-prisoners.

    MacLennan, Brigitte Amber (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores the phenomena of stigma and its effects upon offenders who have spent time in prison. There has been a long history of stigma attached to those who have engaged in criminal activity. As far back as the late 1800's it was concluded that a criminal could be identified by their physical facial features alone. While it is no longer common to stigmatise offenders based on the distance between a person’s eyes, there is still a great deal of stigma attached to having been in prison which can prevent offenders from living a pro-social life. There is little research in this area, particularly within the New Zealand context. This thesis uses phenomenological research to engage with the participants in order to gain an understanding of their lived experiences with stigma. Interviews were conducted to explore this phenomenon. Allowing offenders who have served time in prison to have their experiences heard has potential implications for policy makers with regards to release conditions and also for services that are run in prisons. Making successful transitions from prison living to living a pro-social life has benefits for not only the offender, but the community in which they are residing as a whole.

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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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  • Measuring the sustainability of logistics in small island nations in the Pacific : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Joy, Jullian Gilbert (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis examines the factors which small island nations in the Pacific could consider measuring as indicators when monitoring and reporting on the sustainability of supply chain management practices, focused on the logistics elements. A theoretical framework is derived from a review of appropriate literature to guide the research, which employs a case study methodology. The case study provides a cross sectional view of the reporting environment for early 2015, focused on the small island developing states (SIDS) that are members of the Pacific Islands Forum. Governmental regional organisations are the core participants for the development of the research, due to the nature of the political and business environment in these Pacific nations. One private company and one academic institute are also included as possible triangulation validations. The research finds that no effective measuring or reporting is currently being conducted in relation to assessing the holistic sustainability levels of logistics in the region. The lack of past adequate cross sectional or other methodology of data capture and reporting by the nations, has consequently resulted in a lack of adequate longitudinal data sets. Such data is needed to reliably inform and enable effective decision and policy making on logistics activity and investment in the region. The research finds that monitoring and reporting systems would operate effectively at the regional government level, with data disaggregation to national and indicator level. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) method of reporting fits within the political environment, and the research finds that this, linked with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators, which are to apply from 2015 to the year 2030, could provide a suitable monitoring and reporting framework. This would enable a consistent longitudinal data capture. The research’s recommended methodology will enhance the monitoring value and improve the opportunity for effective further research for the sustainability levels of logistics and other related societal functions in the small island nations.

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  • ECHELON: Espionage without ethics : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Philosophy at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Bole, John (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    In June 2013, Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of mass surveillance conducted across entire societies by five Western Governments. Snowden apparently hoped to generate a global debate on the appropriateness of these activities and the risk /reward trade-offs that society was being asked to make. Snowden seems to have either overestimated the concern of the average person or misunderstood their current level of understanding and acceptance of surveillance. Either way, the debate was short. In general, society seemed to register a level of disquiet but no specific concern. This paper seeks to determine if the disquiet is a consequence of human morality and to identify any specific moral concern.

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  • Integrating the kayak ; transforming a lifestyle : a design-led exploration of transforming kayaks as lifestyle enablers : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand EMBARGOED UNTIL 01/05/2018

    Mitchell, Jason (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This study uses design-led research to validate the hypothesis that the design of current transforming kayaks does not meet the needs of the modern user. Research identified lifestyle factors affecting the kayaking experience and compared them to current transforming kayak models. Opportunities were revealed for new transforming kayak designs that would help to overcome modern lifestyle barriers to kayaking. Primary lifestyle factors indicated the time available, portability, and the type of accommodation lived in were the most influential factors affecting peoples’ ability to engage in kayaking. Secondary factors highlighted specific focused elements where design could be most beneficial. The transforming kayak, better known by the generic term ‘folding kayak’, is a small watercraft capable of packing down to a portable state for transportation and storage. Used extensively during World War 2 by the military, transforming kayaks became popular in post-war Europe as leisure craft, significantly outnumbering their non-transforming counterparts. Despite the potential transformation has to overcome barriers to kayaking, the current design of transforming kayaks caters to only a fraction of the market it once did. This study adopted the University of Texas ‘M.O.R.P.H. Lab Transformation Framework’ to identify principles and facilitators inherent in product transformation. This framework was imperative in evaluating existing kayaks and successful product systems. The use of heuristics aided in the development of new transforming kayaks. Transformation as a meta-theme in the design of products is positioned within the interrelated fields of modularity, adaptable design, and fields where objects change state, or are reconfigured for a specified purpose. A heuristic, iterative prototyping process led to experimenting with M.O.R.P.H. facilitators themed around folding and sliding systems and resulted in a series of transforming kayak prototypes validated through proof of concept, with further potential for future development outside of this study. Key innovations include integrating all kayak components and developing a central point of deployment. This resulted in systems with faster deployment times and resolved issues of complexity and loss of components within transit. Research builds on the ideas of using transformation in industrial design as a means to allow flexible and adaptable solutions, specifically within the design of transforming kayaks.

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  • Evolutionary Networks for Multi-Behavioural Robot Control : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Science Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Jordan, Adam Roger John (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Artificial Intelligence can be applied to a wide variety of real world problems, with varying levels of complexity; nonetheless, real world problems often demand for capabilities that are difficult, if not impossible to achieve using a single Artificial Intelligence algorithm. This challenge gave rise to the development of hybrid systems that put together a combination of complementary algorithms. Hybrid approaches come at a cost however, as they introduce additional complications for the developer, such as how the algorithms should interact and when the independent algorithms should be executed. This research introduces a new algorithm called Cascading Genetic Network Programming (CGNP), which contains significant changes to the original Genetic Network Programming. This new algorithm has the facility to include any Artificial Intelligence algorithm into its directed graph network, as either a judgement or processing node. CGNP introduces a novel ability for a scalable multiple layer network, of independent instances of the CGNP algorithm itself. This facilitates problem subdivision, independent optimisation of these underlying layers and the ability to develop varying levels of complexity, from individual motor control to high level dynamic role allocation systems. Mechanisms are incorporated to prevent the child networks from executing beyond their requirement, allowing the parent to maintain control. The ability to optimise any data within each node is added, allowing for general purpose node development and therefore allowing node reuse in a wide variety of applications without modification. The abilities of the Cascaded Genetic Network Programming algorithm are demonstrated and proved through the development of a multi-behavioural robot soccer goal keeper, as a testbed where an individual Artificial Intelligence system may not be sufficient. The overall role is subdivided into three components and individually optimised which allow the robot to pursue a target object or location, rotate towards a target and provide basic functionality for defending a goal. These three components are then used in a higher level network as independent nodes, to solve the overall multi- behavioural goal keeper. Experiments show that the resulting controller defends the goal with a success rate of 91%, after 12 hours training using a population of 400 and 60 generations.

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  • The impacts of technological and personal factors on the security awareness of smartphone users : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Information Science In Information Technology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand.

    Jaber, Rawan Abdulrahman (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    With the increasing popularity of mobile devices (e.g. smartphones) and the resulting security risk (e.g. cybercriminals seeking to compromise devices to target user information), enhanced user security awareness is critical in securing the devices and the data. This research investigates that what technological and personal factors affect smartphone users’ security awareness. An online (web-based) survey was conducted between September 2015 and March 2016 to explore the impacts of technological factors (e.g. platforms and applications) and personal factors (e.g. educational and technological backgrounds, gender and age, and ethnicity) on smartphone users’ security awareness. Findings from the analysis of 919 responses indicate that the factors that are statistically significant in relation to smartphone security awareness are technological backgrounds, educational levels, downloading apps, installed apps, and using cracked apps.

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  • EULOGY : A thesis presented in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Creative Writing (MCW) at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Holland, Jane (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis is concerned with writing fragmented narrative and it asks how the ‘space in between’ can connect the progression of fragments in fictional works. It explores how the assembling of fragments in fictional narrative can contribute to the whole becoming greater than simply a sum of its parts. Informing the writing process is a study of the effects of spatially driven narrative. The thesis consists of two parts: The novella, Eulogy, evokes the emotional complexities encountered by a woman delivering a eulogy for her partner. The accompanying exegesis discusses the research surrounding the writing of Eulogy and examines how novels by Patricia Grace and Lisa Moore also represent loss, showing how spatial form can work in the structure of fragmented narrative to convey such things as state of mind and the circularity of life-experience. Loss is universal, but how an individual experiences and deals with it is very much the result of circumstance and personal history, and this is what I aimed to explore in Eulogy. The novella consists of a number of non-chronological fragments which accumulate, connect and layer, building towards an understanding of all the narrator has lost, and how these losses are experienced in relation to each other. As insight into the specificity of the narrator’s response and feelings develops over the course of the novella, so too does the complexity of her relationship with Dean, the partner who has died, building towards the underlying sense that the novella is itself also a eulogy. My supporting exegesis draws on Joseph Frank’s theory of spatial form to examine how Patricia Grace’s Baby No-Eyes and Lisa Moore’s February also pivot around the theme of loss,. By mapping the fragmented structure of the novels, I set out to analyse how the spaces between fragments work in these works and to explore the cognitive and thematic links that bridge them. Examining a singular fragment in detail, I asked how space and time are used to propel each narrative. I then expanded my enquiry to the relationship of these single fragments with the fragments on either side. The exegesis concludes with a discussion of how I applied this strategy to my own creative process in Eulogy, questioning how the connections between and within fragments could contribute to the intricacy and unity of the overall novella. To a certain degree, the process of this thesis was itself an exploration of spatial form and fragmented narrative. The creative component and research were built incrementally and each was informed by the other. The pieces pushed and pulled, fed off and challenged one other as I progressed, making sense of both fragments and spaces to coalesce them into a cohesive whole.

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  • Investigation of the Confinement Odour Problem in Exported Lamb using NMR-based Metabolomics : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Chemistry at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand.

    Olivecrona, Natalia (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Recent changes to the supply chain practices of meat exporters has increased the potential for consumers to be exposed to the phenomenon of confinement odour, the smell produced by vacuum or modified atmosphere packaged meat which has been chilled and stored for extended periods. This harmless odour, which does not indicate meat spoilage, can lead to the rejection of the product by consumers. This is a problem for NZ lamb meat producers as they form the largest group of exporters of lamb meat in the world, and their largest market is the UK and other EU countries. The processes behind confinement odour development are poorly understood. In this thesis, NMR spectra were acquired of meat, and drip extracts of meat from two different processing plants stored under different temperatures for 11-13 weeks to simulate conditions of exported meat during overseas shipment, transport to warehouse and retail display. The spectra were analysed by multivariate data analysis to find metabolic differences between meat which produces confinement odour and meat which produces either spoilage odour or no odour. Optimisation of extraction of metabolites from meat and drip samples was also carried out. The best sample preparation method for meat and drip included homogenisation by bead beating (meat samples only), protein precipitation using an acetonitrile, methanol and acetone solvent mixture, and removal of solvent by vacuum centrifugation. Multivariate data analysis demonstrated the ability to discriminate drip samples with confinement odour from spoiled samples and the former showed increased lactate concentration with low levels of leucine indicating the presence of Lactic Acid bacteria. The spoiled samples had increased butyrate levels which is indicative of the presence of Clostridium spp. Both bacterial populations were in a late stage of growth. This is consistent with confinement odour as an early indicator of spoilage. This result indicates the potential for drip to be utilised more widely for the analysis of meat metabolites. Additionally, samples could be discriminated by processing plant of origin using multivariate data analysis. Increased levels of pyruvate and decreased levels of glucose in samples from Plant 2 indicated their bacterial populations had progressed to a later stage of growth than the bacterial populations in samples from Plant 1.

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  • Quantifying the Benefits of Rat Eradication to Lizard Populations on Kapiti Island : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Conservation Biology Massey University, Palmerston North New Zealand

    Gollin, Jennifer Fleur (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    In New Zealand the introduction of mammalian predators and human modification of habitat has led to the reduction and extinction of many native species. Therefore an essential part conservation management is the assessment and reduction of exotic predator effects. Many lizard species in New Zealand are threatened, and the eradications of exotic predators from islands has aided in the recovery of many species. Where comparisons can be made on islands before and after rat eradication this can provide a unique opportunity to quantify the benefit of these actions. In 1994–1996 research was carried out on Kapiti Island by Gorman (1996) prior to the eradication of kiore (Rattus exulans) and Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). This involved sampling six defined habitats using five methods in order to establish density data for lizard species present, as well as recording data on vegetation and weather. In the summer of 2014–2015 I repeated this research using pitfall traps, spotlighting and daytime searching to sample five habitats along pitfall trap lines and transects established by Gorman (1996). This provided data on density, size distribution, behaviour, habitat use and vegetation to compare to the 1994–1996 data. Five species were found; common skinks (Oligosoma polychroma), brown skinks (Oligosoma zelandicum), copper skinks (Oligosoma aeneum), ornate skinks (Oligosoma ornatum) and common geckos (Woodworthia maculatus) in four of the five habitats sampled. Common skinks, brown skinks, copper skinks and common geckos all increased in density based on encounter rates since the rat eradication, and were found in new locations. However, some changes were explained by measured changes in the vegetation. Ornate skinks still appear rare which may be due to the presence of avian predators like weka (Gallirallus australis) preventing recovery of the species. There has been little change in the size distribution of grassland skinks species, and populations still lack large (> 6 cm snout-to-vent length) individuals. This may be due to avian predators removing large individuals from the population or the change in vegetation making habitats more suitable for smaller skinks. There has also been no apparent shift toward terrestrial behaviour in common geckos. This may be caused by an arboreal food source or arboreal behaviour providing protection from nocturnal predators. My research shows that there have been clear benefits to some of the lizard species present on Kapiti, but some changes have not occurred as predicted. This provides direction for further research, including effects of avian predators, and information to improve decisions about potential translocations to Kapiti.

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  • Risk Management and Market Participation among Traditional Cattle Farmers in Monze District of Southern Province, Zambia : A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in AgriCommerce at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Chilala, Belindah (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Traditional cattle farmers are the major contributors to the beef industry in Zambia as they account for 85% of the country’s cattle population. Traditional farmers however, are reluctant to sell their cattle and are more likely to sell when cushioning against crop production risk. Although some scholars say farmers sell their cattle more when faced with risk, there are other scholars who say the opposite that farmers are less willing to sell their cattle when faced with risk as they are trying to preserve their cattle asset. This study was therefore done to identify sources of risk, risk management strategies, risk attitudes, cattle market participation and cattle selling channels of traditional cattle farmers in Monze district of Zambia. Mixed methods research was done by first using qualitative research through in-depth interviews to inform the quantitative research done using a questionnaire survey. Likert scale type of questions were used to capture the farmers’ perceptions of risk and risk management strategies. In order to better understand risk perceptions of the farmers, upside and downside risk of the farmers were presented using risk choice matrix. The risk importance index was used to present the perceptions of risk and risk management strategies of the respondents. Regression tree analysis was used to investigate relationships between market participation and the respondents’ perceptions of risk and risk management strategies of the farmers and their risk attitudes. Pearson’s chi-square was also used to investigate these relationships. The results showed that the majority of surveyed farmers from Monze were risk averse. It was also found that these farmers mainly perceived production and market risk to be the most important sources of risk. These farmers did not perceive risk to be an opportunity but rather saw it more as a threat. It was also found that the farmers exhibited four types of market behaviour based on how they participated in cattle markets. These were traders, sellers, buyer and holders. A farmer’s market behaviour was affected by different perceptions of risk and other farmer characteristics such as the main income generating activity of the farmer and the number of cattle owned by the farmer. It was therefore seen that there was some influence of risk perceptions on market behaviour of farmers. These perceptions were affected by the risk attitude of farmers which were affected by the location of the farmers. It is therefore important to understand risk attitudes and perceptions of individual farmers from different farming areas.

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  • Transgressive Gestures: Women and Violin Performance in Eighteenth-Century Europe : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music in Musicology at Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand School of Music

    Jordan, Hester Bell (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Studies concerning eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century women musicians abound within recent musicological scholarship, but the focus on singers and keyboard players – whose musical activities are understood to have “affirmed” their femininity – has had the effect of obscuring players of less typical instruments. Violin-playing, frequently cast as a man’s activity and imbued with indecent associations, was a case in point. Yet despite the connotations of the instrument, a small but significant group of women did play the violin: it is these violinists that this thesis takes as its central focus. Looking first at the complex reasons behind objections to women’s violin performance, a number of factors that restricted women’s access to the violin – including the influence of the male gaze and limits placed on women’s physical movement – are revealed. Particular conditions nevertheless enabled certain women to play the violin, namely the personal, educational, and economic support available from diverse sources such as family members, patrons, and institutions like convents and the Venetian ospedali. In addition to placing women violinists in their historical context, this thesis centres on an analysis of a violin concerto by one of the most well-known female violinists of the era, the Italian virtuoso Regina Strinasacchi. The analysis of Strinasacchi’s Violin Concerto in B flat major is strongly performance based and focuses on the issue of gender and physical movement (performance gesture), topics which were of much interest to eighteenth-century commentators who witnessed women violinists performing. As such the analysis engages with concepts from “embodied” musicology. In exploring Strinasacchi’s concerto we see that female violinists could experiment with a variety of gendered roles through violin performance, embodying both masculinity and femininity through their transgressive gestures. By taking a closer look at women’s violin performance and experiences, this thesis aims to show that these violinists were not as peripheral to the workings of the wider musical community as is sometimes implied. Furthermore, it aims to put women violinists more firmly at the centre of their own stories, challenging the tendency to treat female violinists as novel anomalies.

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  • Job Satisfaction and Its Relationships with Age, Gender and Educational Background in a Vietnamese Context : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Business Studies (Management) at Massey University, Manawatu New Zealand

    Pham, Minh Quang (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    The present study aims at examining the reliability and validity of a Vietnamese version of the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS) which was developed by Spector (1997). It also reveals the current overall job satisfaction and investigates the relationship between job satisfaction and age, gender, and educational background among a specific community, the auditors and ex-auditors in Vietnam. With these goals, a quantitative cross-sectional design has been employed for the research. A pilot study with 68 Vietnamese respondents establishes a solid foundation for the final Vietnamese-translated version of the JSS. In the main study, a sample of 202 Vietnamese auditors and ex-auditors is recruited. The JSS in Vietnamese demonstrates a high internal consistency with the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of α = .91. Moreover, an exploratory factor analysis reports an underlying construct of nine dimensions, which is similar to the original version of the JSS. The convergent and divergent validity of the scale are also analysed and return satisfactory results. The present research suggests that the auditors and ex-auditors in Vietnam are generally satisfied with their jobs and, surprisingly, the auditors are reported to be happier than their ex-colleagues in every job aspect. There is no relationship found between the overall job satisfaction and age or gender for this specific community, while a significant correlation between job satisfaction and educational background is confirmed. However, the women of this community are reported to be more likely to experience a lower level of job satisfaction when they get older or when they have a better educational background. The present study provides audit companies in Vietnam with recommendations for improving the job satisfaction of their employees. Its findings suggest that these firms should pay more attention to their older female employees as well as the ones with higher educational backgrounds due to their vulnerability to a lower level of job satisfaction than the opposite gender. Furthermore, directions and indications for future research are also offered in the present dissertation.

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  • Reasoning ability and performance: A study of New Zealand corrections officers : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

    Jackson, Bryony (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    The performance of frontline staff is one of the most central elements of an effective correctional system. This thesis reports findings related to the organisational psychology of the correctional environment, with special attention to person characteristics that may predict job performance of corrections officers. The empirical study investigated components of reasoning ability (abstract, verbal, numerical reasoning) on a sample of officers (N = 88) working in seven prison facilities throughout New Zealand. Overseas research repeatedly identified cognitive abilities as a predictor of job performance across a range of occupational settings, including jobs similar to corrections officers. The current study sought to examine this relationship on a New Zealand officer sample, to provide evidence for criterion-related validity of psychometric assessment of reasoning ability, with implications for use in personnel selection procedures. An analysis of internal relationships among ability components was also undertaken. Consistent with theoretical models and extant empirical findings, abstract, verbal, and numerical reasoning were found to be positively related to one another. However, the given components of reasoning ability were unrelated to job performance in the local occupational setting. Potential explanations for the findings are offered in terms of limitations in the measurement tools and processes (e.g. scope of the performance appraisal tool). It is likely that given the unique job tasks and challenges of the corrections environment, officer performance requires important characteristics outside of reasoning ability, when officers perform affect-laden tasks (e.g. understanding their own and others’ emotions and emotion- driven behaviours). Further investigation of potential predictors such as emotional intelligence is warranted, and is expected to assist prediction of performance in a corrections setting.

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