2,308 results for Unitec Research Bank

  • Prevalence and recovery rate of low back pain and leg pain in osteopathic practice

    Nataliya Chemeris (2007)

    Thesis
    Unitec

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  • Effect of fatigue on proprioceptive acuity in the asymptomatic untrained male knee

    Cowan, Joseph (2009)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Purpose: There is empirical evidence to suggest that fatigue may contribute to altered neuromuscular awareness and reduced control of the lower limb leading to a subsequent reduction in proprioception and dynamic joint stabilization. This dissertation comprises a literature review which identifies the need to investigate the effect of local muscular fatigue on joint position sense and hence proprioception. Due to epidemiological data stating the high prevalance of knee injury it was decided to study the knee joint of asymptomatic untrained males. Methodology: The sample involved sixteen male subjects selected on the criteria that they were all aged between 20-35 years, and did not have an abnormal knee range of motion, exceptional motor skills (i.e. elite athlete), vestibular/neuromuscular disorders, or osteoarthritis anywhere in the lower limb. All subjects completed a familiarization protocol then performed a series of knee joint repositioning exercises at three randomly selected, standardized target angles both before and immediately after a fatigue protocol. Absolute error in joint repositioning from the target angle was compared between the three different angles at baseline and post-fatigue. The fatigue intervention was complete when a subject’s maximal force output fell below 50% of their initial performance in both flexion and extension. All data were collected using a Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometer. Results: Proprioceptive acuity was not substantially affected by fatigue of the knee joint flexor and extensor muscles. An overall increase in joint repositioning efficacy of 3.3% occurred following the fatigue intervention. The type of error (overshoot or undershoot) in repositioning the limb was influenced by the position of the limb at the target angle with a more flexed target position leading to a predominance in overshoot (extension) error and vice versa. Conclusion: Fatigue does not appear to have a substantial effect on knee joint position sense, therefore, muscular fatigue in young healthy males does not appear to compromise proprioception. The position of the knee joint may influence an individual’s proprioceptive perception of an appropriate corrective/protective movement.

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  • A study Investigating the effects of osteopathic muscle energy technique on the viscoelasticity of skeletal muscle

    Al Araji, Ghassan (2006)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This study was performed to investigate the effects of an osteopathic treatment technique (muscle energy technique) on the viscoelasticity of skeletal muscle (biceps brachii). Fifteen 18-30 year old healthy non obese right handed male volunteers participated. Data collection was undertaken over four days with each subject attending two sessions separated by an interval of 1 day. On day one, three measurements of muscle viscoelasticity (stiffness, power of resistance) were taken from each individual participant’s left biceps brachii muscle. Measurements were made using a purpose designed force dial viscoelastometer. This device is designed to perform incremental compression of tissue and to calculate stress - strain data for muscle tissue during periods of controlled deformation. On day two, three measurements were again taken followed by five 10 second cycles of muscle energy technique on the subject’s left biceps brachii muscle; three further measurements were again taken post intervention. Analysis of deflection and resistance of the measuring probe was then plotted as a linear equation (y = kx +b). The deformed muscle tissue was conceptually modelled and represented using 3 subsequent springs in series, representing 3 different compartments (layers) of skeletal muscle. Indices of total compressive stiffness of skeletal muscle and specific power of resistance during tissue compression were calculated using multiple mathematical formulas. A comparative statistical analysis between pre-intervention and post-intervention data was performed with the single tailed paired samples t-test from the software program SPSS 12.0.1 for Windows. There was no significant difference in stiffness (95% CI = -0.06419 to 0.23786 degrees; t = 1.233; df = 14; P < 0.238) and power of resistance (95% CI = -0.00804 to 0.01988 degrees; t = -0.910; df = 14; P < 0.378) between pre-intervention and post-intervention states. After intervention the stiffness and power of resistance of the biceps brachii muscle did not decrease. The Cohen’s d post-hoc test showed that the effect size of the intervention was considered to be small, low, minor. No significant individual difference was demonstrated in terms of the stiffness (95% CI = -0.36715 to 0.07369 degrees; t = -1.428; df = 14; P < 0.175) and power of resistance (95% CI = -0.02503 to 0.01245 degrees; t = -0.719; df = 14; P < 0.484) between pre-intervention (baseline) trials for each subject. This study demonstrates that muscle energy technique did not decrease indices of viscoelasticity (stiffness and power of resistance) of the biceps brachii muscle. These findings encourage further research on the physiological background of MET.

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  • The use of ideomotor therapy in the treatment of chronic neck pain: A single systems research design

    Mason, Jesse (2009)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Introduction: Neck pain is common and is a significant medical and socioeconomic problem in New Zealand. There are many treatments for neck pain, however the effectiveness of manual treatment for neck pain is poorly established. The aim of the present study is to document the effectiveness of an emergent manual therapeutic technique Simple Contact in five subjects suffering from chronic neck pain. Methods: A prospective single-system research design using an A-B-C protocol was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention Simple Contact in reducing levels of pain intensity, disability due to neck pain and fear avoidance behaviour, and increasing functional status levels. Subjects satisfying the study inclusion and exclusion criteria commenced a 9-10 week study consisting of a 3-4 week baseline period followed by a 3 week intervention period and a 3 week follow-up period. Outcome measures used to record levels were Quadruple Visual Analogue Scale, Neck Disability Index, Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire and Patient Specific Functional Scale. Results: Visual analysis of the data was used to attempt to identify any change in outcome measures that might be due to the intervention. Where relevant, trendlines were fitted to data from all three phases and to data from the intervention and followup phases. Variability of data and limited data points in the baseline phase make it difficult to conclude whether or not the intervention had an effect. Electronic submission of results by subjects allowed subject compliance to be checked. Poor compliance with scheduled dates for submission of data seriously weakens the integrity of the study and the ability to confidently draw conclusions from the results. This identifies a methodological weakness for studies reliant on self-report measures of change. Conclusions: The current research was not able to make conclusions as to the effectiveness of the intervention Simple Contact on reducing levels of chronic neck pain in the five subjects studied. However, visual analyses of the results suggest that the intervention was having no detectable effect on the outcomes measured. Future research in this area should attempt to obtain more baseline data and maximise compliance with scheduled dates of submission of data by subjects.

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  • Evaluating medical radiation technologists’ image interpretation accuracy and clinical practice relative to their postgraduate educational experience in New Zealand

    Kumar, Reshmi (2007)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This study focuses on the effect of postgraduate education on image interpretation of trauma to the appendicular skeleton from a New Zealand (NZ) perspective. It evaluates the changes in the reporting accuracy and the clinical practice of ten Medical Radiation Technologists (MRTs) who underwent the educational intervention. This is in context with the steps taken by the MRT counterparts in the United Kingdom (UK) to extend their role in trauma image interpretation. The study further addresses the issues that the participating MRTs encountered relative to their educational experience. The research method was a case study conducted longitudinally from September 2006 to June 2007. A mixed method approach that blends the quantitative and the qualitative methods was used for data collection. The ten MRTs in the study submitted 400 reports which were accompanied by reports from radiologists, which were treated as the gold standard. A questionnaire was completed by the MRTs at the onset and again towards the end of the study. In addition, four of the MRTs and four of the radiologists, acting as the MRTs’ mentors, were interviewed towards the end of the study. Findings showed that as the MRTs progressed in their postgraduate educational experience, their clinical practice was enhanced enormously. By the time all the MRTs in the study were half way through their educational intervention; they exhibited accuracy levels of 100 percent and maintained that stable performance till the end of the study. The contribution of both the academic and clinical components of the postgraduate education was evident in playing a vital role in these developments. The ten MRTs’ individual circumstances and characteristics as well as their work profiles and their operational demands were further found to have some effect on the changes that were noted. The conclusion that was drawn from this study was that the wealth of knowledge in image interpretation possessed by MRTs can be improved through appropriate postgraduate education in trauma reporting. This study suggests that, if appropriately implemented, postgraduate education in trauma reporting is effective in enhancing the interpretation accuracy and the clinical practice of MRTs. The research findings provide potential to aid in the facilitation of future developments in possible role extension areas such as image interpretation in emergency departments (EDs) for the MRTs in NZ, especially in remote and rural settings.

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  • Comparative analysis of the topographical locations of acupuncture points and Chapman's reflex points

    Kim, Ok Bae (2007)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Introduction: Both Acupuncture points (APs) and Chapman’s reflex points (CRPs) are used to treat the internal organ systems of patients throughout the world. The AP system developed from Eastern medical philosophy and the CRP system from Western osteopathic philosophy. Although the two point systems started separately, their final purposes are the same, to treat disturbances of internal organ system. To date, no data has been published which compare relationships between the two point systems. The aim of this study was to find any relationships between the two point systems. Methods: A Single Model Experiment (SME) based on a literature-based analysis was used to find their relationships. The data collection incorporated both literature data and experimental data. Based on the data from the literature, the CRP system (102 CRP points) and associated APs (102 points) were mapped onto both anterior and posterior surfaces of the body of the participant and their distances from anatomical landmarks to APs and from APs to nearby CRPs were measured. The measured data were statistically analyzed Results: Literature-based analysis showed that of the APs identified as anatomically near by one of the CRPs, 71.1% of the anterior points and 93.1% of the posterior points were related pathologically to CRP points. SME revealed that: The topographical congruency of the pathologically related points was in the range of 20.6% (anterior points) - 44.2% (posterior points). Mean distance between AP and CRP of the posterior points (16.5 ± 1.9 mm) was smaller than the anterior points (27.8 ± 6.0 mm) for pathologically related points. Nearest neighbour analysis revealed that the distribution pattern of the two point systems on the surface of human body was between random and regular for both anterior and posterior points. Intraclass correlation coefficient suggested that the distance of APs from the anatomical landmark was not a predictor of the distance from the APs to the CRPs. Conclusion: This study has provided clinical evidence of a close relationship between the AP and CRP system on a single subject. This study is the first to map these two point systems on a human body. The data recorded forms the basis for subsequent study of these two point systems.

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  • What is potency? Exploring practitioners’ experiences of the phenomenon of potency in osteopathy in the cranial field

    Harrison, Helen (2009)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This study explores the phenomenon of Potency as experienced by five practitioners of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field. Phenomena can be elusive. The aim of investigating Potency, as a lived experience, is to gain an in-depth knowledge that will help to deepen understanding to help guide osteopathic practice. In recognition of the increasing trend towards Evidence-based Practice, this study will contribute to the emerging body of research which osteopathy needs to support its position as a mainstream healthcare provider. The exploratory nature of this study fits the qualitative research design and is a hermeneutic phenomenological study guided by the ideas of van Manen. Practitioners for the study were selected using purposive sampling. The data were collected from the five participants by conducting individual interviews. The aim of phenomenological research is to uncover the themes that give a phenomenon its uniqueness and thereby contribute to a greater and deeper understanding. Thematic analysis identified two themes each comprising sub-themes: Practitioners’ Journey and Essences of Potency. The practitioners’ ability to understand the phenomenon of Potency constitutes a journey comprising many influences. The practitioners appeared to be influenced by many experiences occurring before, during and after osteopathic education. The experience of understanding Potency evolved with the phenomenon having qualities that empowered the practitioners to continue on their journey. This study concludes that the practitioners’ experiences of Potency appear to depend on the context of the practitioners’ reality. Practitioners’ perceptions of Potency start and continue to evolve in their experiences of Potency. However, these perceptions included Potency as an expression of the Breath of Life. Sometimes this is experienced visually as light and at other times experienced as energy. It appears Potency emerges from stillness, a place of harmony and returns the organism to its originality and health. The study places the phenomenon of Potency in its professional context by discussing current beliefs and experiences of Potency in the osteopathic literature. The purpose of this study is to contribute to an emerging body of literature on osteopathic phenomena. The study provides suggestions for future research, and gives implications for osteopathic practice and education.

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  • Estimation of instantaneous and cumulative loads on the low back and neck of osteopaths while performing the pre-thrust positioning for a high velocity, low amplitude thrust technique applied to the thoracic spine

    Stewart, Matthew (2008)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Background and objectives: There is epidemiological evidence that musculoskeletal disorders of the back and neck are prevalent among healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to quantify instantaneous and cumulative loads on the low back and neck of osteopaths while performing the pre-thrust positioning for a commonly used high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) thrust technique applied to the thoracic spine. Method: The sample included 8 undergraduate students and 16 graduate students in the osteopathy programme at Unitec New Zealand and two registered osteopaths (male n= 16, female n=10). Digital still images of operators performing the pre-thrust positioning for a thoracic spine HVLA thrust technique on a variable height table were analysed with motion analysis software. From the observed data, instantaneous compression and shear loads at the L5-S1 and C7-T1 segments were estimated using a static biomechanical model. Estimates of weekly and yearly cumulative compressive and shear loads were calculated based on assumptions from osteopaths’ anecdotal clinical experience. Results: Instantaneous compression loads on the L5-S1 segment ranged from 1023 N to 7575 N and 33 N to 477N on the C7-T1 segment. Instantaneous shear loads on the L5-S1 segment ranged between 160 N and 829 N and between 18 N and 112 N for the C7-T1 segment. Conclusions: This study found a distinct correlation between body mass and instantaneous lumbosacral spinal loading (Pearson’s r = 0.96). The magnitude of instantaneous compressive lumbosacral spinal loads in this study were found to be within the range to cause vertebral endplate fracture. Lumbosacral shear forces were found to be above acceptable levels as recommended in spinal safety guidelines but below levels capable of causing pars interarticularis fracture. Therefore, manipulative techniques that involve forward flexion may increase instantaneous compressive and shear lumbosacral spinal loading above generally agreed acceptable limits for spinal safety.

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  • The immediate effect of a 5-minute flexed posture on lumbar spine reposition sense

    Pantelides, Markos (2009)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Proprioceptive control is considered important for maintenance of spinal stability and prevention of injury, and evidence exists to suggest that spinal proprioceptive structures, which are reflexive and viscoelastic, may be challenged by prolonged flexed postures. Alteration to lumbar spine position sense has been associated with low back pain patients; however, there has been little investigation into the effect different postural interventions may have on lumbar spine position sense in asymptomatic subjects. The aim of the current study was to investigate lumbar spine position sense after a 5-minute flexed posture in asymptomatic subjects. This dissertation is comprised of two main sections; a literature review followed by a manuscript for a research report that has been prepared in accordance with submission requirements for Manual Therapy. Following a familiarisation procedure, 30 asymptomatic subjects undertook two position sense tests to a neutral lumbar spine posture in the sagittal plane; one following a 5-minute fully flexed seated posture, one following a 5-minute sidelying posture, with a 15-minute interval in between tests. Absolute errors were calculated from data recorded by two orientation sensors, and compared between groups. Results showed a reduced lumbar spine reposition sense following 5-minutes in a flexed posture as compared with following 5-minutes in a sidelying position (p=0.042), mean difference 2.7° (95% CI 0.10 to 5.29°). The implications of this finding in relation to injury are discussed.

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  • Knowing hands converse with an expressive body: An experience of osteopathic touch

    Consedine, Seth (2008)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Aim – The aim of this phenomenological study was to examine and describe the patient’s experience of touch during a consultation with an osteopathic practitioner. Background – Touch is the process by which one person physically contacts another individual and as such plays an integral role in osteopathic practice. Osteopathic practitioners use touch in almost every facet of care including examination, diagnosis and treatment. Although this form of communication is intrinsic to osteopathic practice, there has been no research undertaken to date that qualifies the experience of osteopathic touch within a treatment session. Methods –Three local osteopaths identified five potential participants from their own practice. Data were recorded during five face-to-face semi-structured interviews that were conducted by the primary researcher. Interviews were transcribed and the textual data was analysed using the principles of van Manen’s (1997) hermeneutic phenomenology. Using this approach, significant themes were identified in the data and a description of the lived experience of osteopathic touch emerged. Results – Three phenomenological themes were identified in the data and broken down into nine constituent subthemes. Theme [A] The Process – a physical interaction, drew attention to the physical patient-practitioner relationship and the physical and psychological implications of this interaction. Theme [B] Professionalism – a practitioner’s responsibility explored the role of touch in developing professional boundaries and emphasised the patient’s expectations surrounding the physical contact, while Theme [C] Reassurance – a therapeutic necessity examined the role of touch in reassuring the patient about their presenting complaint and the practitioner’s medical knowledge and technical skill. Conclusions – The experience of touch for the participants in an osteopathic session is one of care and security. For the participants touch plays a critical role in the therapeutic relationship by supporting and validating their experiences and by communicating practitioner humanism and professionalism. Furthermore, the experience of touch was identified as a critical component of the therapeutic interaction. Indications for further research and implications for the osteopathic profession are discussed.

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  • Cavitation of the cervical spine using rotational high velocity/low amplitude thrusts: finding consistency, relationships and beliefs

    Naysmith, Nicholas (2009)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Background: There is limited evidence to validate many of the techniques that osteopaths and other manual therapists use. Many techniques are performed by manual therapists without complete understanding of the mechanical and physiological mechanisms involved. The high velocity/low amplitude (HVLA) thrusts that are frequently used in osteopathic practice are one such example. Several authors suggest that accuracy (cavitating only the dysfunctional spinal segment) of the thrust is important for a successful clinical outcome (Meal & Scott, 1986). However, there is a division within the profession as to how accurate these thrusts need to be to create clinically relevant outcomes (Beffa & Mathews, 2004; Meal & Scott, 1986; Ross, Bereznick, & McGill, 2004). Recent research suggests that the accuracy of HVLA thrusts in both the thoracic and lumbar spine may be limited (Ross, Bereznick, & McGill, 2004). Objectives: The first aim of this study was to determine how consistently an experienced osteopathic practitioner could target a side of the cervical spine using one rotational HVLA technique in multiple sessions. This study will also help determine which side of the cervical spine produces a cavitation sound during a primary lever left rotation HVLA thrust. The second part of this research surveys osteopaths registered to practice in New Zealand on their beliefs regarding sites of cavitation during cervical spine HVLA thrusts. Design: Part 1: Observational study Part 2: Survey Methods: Part 1: Thirty-three (17 male and 16 female) participants aged between 18 and 40 volunteered for this study. One experienced osteopathic practitioner performed a single primary lever left rotational thrust to C3/4 segments of the cervical spine to each volunteer on three separate occasions over a four week period. Cavitation sounds were recorded via sensitive microphones attached to the posto-lateral aspects of each volunteer’s neck at the level of C2. Analysis of the recorded wave forms indicate the side where the cavitation of the cervical facets has occurred. Part 2: A web-based survey was designed and emailed to 164 osteopaths within New Zealand. Demographic questions sought details on age, gender, schooling and the like, and also asked participants to watch four videos of commonly applied cervical spine manipulations. Osteopaths were asked to indicate on the survey which side of the cervical spine they believed the cavitation occurred during each of the thrusts. Results: The findings from Part 1 of the study suggest that this osteopath can cavitate, with reasonable consistency, the right side cervical facets using a left rotational HVLA thrust. The findings also show that this type of thrust is most likely to produce cavitations ipsilateral to the practitioner’s applicator hand. The findings from Part 2 of this research show that there is consensus amongst osteopaths registered to practice osteopathy in New Zealand regarding the side where cavitation should occur during various HVLA manipulations of the cervical spine. There is more agreement from these osteopaths regarding the rotational style thrusts than the side-bending thrusts. Conclusions: The results of this study show that this practitioner was able to cavitate zygapophyseal joints on the right side of the cervical spine in 75 out of 86 successful manipulations (87%). Out of the 86 thrusts 53 cavitations were purely on the right side while on 22 occasions bilateral events occurred that contain right side cavitations. This study confirmed that a left rotational HVLA thrust is more likely to cavitate the right side facets of the cervical spine. This finding is in agreement with the current anecdotal evidence and clinical biomechanical principles and with the accepted theories taught in many osteopathic colleges, but is in contrast to the findings of Bolton et al. (2007) and Reggars and Pollard (1995). The experimental findings in Chapter Two were consistent with the reported beliefs from the surveyed osteopaths. These osteopaths mostly agreed regarding side of cavitation during cervical HVLA thrusts. There was 78% agreement that a left rotational HVLA thrust will cavitate the right side facets of a patient’s cervical spine. There was 70% consensus that right rotational thrusts will cavitate the left side facets. There was approximately 60% agreement on side of cavitation associated with both left and right side-bending thrusts which was lower than for rotational thrusts.

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  • Information and communications technology skill requirements for hospitality students

    van Praagh, Maree Elsie (2010)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    The Pacific International Hotel Management School (PIHMS) is a hospitality school that is located in New Plymouth, New Zealand and it offers a PIHMS Certificate in English, Diploma in Hotel Management, a Degree in Hospitality and a Post Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management. The Hospitality industry is very much like the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry as both are dynamic and growing fast (Watkins, 2005; O’Brien, 2002). This report records the findings of an investigation into ICT skills that are required by PIHMS Diploma graduates to help give them a competitive edge when they apply for positions in hotels. In addition it recommends how PIHMS could teach any extra skills required by the hospitality industry. The research used a mixed methods approach involving questionnaires, focus groups and interviews. The participants were interested parties that either have PIHMS graduates or students working for them or are lecturers at the school. There was also a comparison done of the PIHMS computing paper and a New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) computing paper that is offered in the New Zealand Diploma of Business (Level Six) throughout New Zealand in polytechnics and other tertiary institutions.

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  • Passivhaus – a New Zealand adaption : an evaluation of New Zealand’s potential to adopt German energy saving standards for residential architecture

    Hendry, Sasha (2009)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    New Zealand’s reputation as an ecologically advanced nation is brought into question when our architecture is assessed at an international level. The implementation of Green Star New Zealand has brought to public attention the need for environmental principles to become standard practice within the building industry. At present the scheme does not recognise residential buildings, which form one of the largest sectors of energy consumption in New Zealand. The apprehension of society to adopt the principles of energy efficient residential architecture have led experts to suggest that New Zealand is many years behind current practice in Germany, where buildings often generate more energy than they consume. New Zealander’s desire to attain the “Kiwi Quarter Acre Dream’ has been identified as the base of New Zealand’s energy problems, where heating and cooling of single family houses release excessive amounts of C02 into the atmosphere causing its degradation. New Zealand lacks the distinction between ‘sustainable’ and ‘energy’ architecture that has been identified overseas. There is currently no built example of energy architecture which strictly regulates the Kwh/ (m2a) the building consumes. It is suggested that initiates formed in Germany such as the Passivhaus, which use highly insulated facades to eliminate the need for heating and cooling may have application in New Zealand. The project aims to identify and compare the Passivhaus and the New Zealand Green Star standards to produce an amended set of principles that will act as a design template. Demonstration and testing of the way energy principles can engage with density and offer alternatives to inner city living will generate an opportunity for public exposure of new ideas towards sustainable intensification and energy efficient architecture. The application of the amended standards, design methods and rating the developed design against selected software will give both architectural and energy efficient results.

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  • Urban village : exploring synergies between affordability and sustainability

    Bennett, Sian (2010)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    The stand alone suburban dwelling is no longer suitable for our steadily growing population, changing urban demographics, lifestyle preferences and the rising economic and ecological cost of excessive commuting. The push toward the intensification of our cities presents an opportunity to increase current supply of affordable housing. Therefore, higher density, inner city living is set to become a common typology within main centres throughout New Zealand. Many people are looking toward the purchase of multi-unit properties – which have traditionally been reserved for renters – as an affordable housing option to compensate for rising home ownership costs of the stand alone dwelling. This project looks into the redevelopment of a brownfield site within the inner city suburb of Morningside in Auckland. The objective here is to produce a mixed-use, medium-density housing scheme in which affordability plays a key role. Through research it has become clear that housing affordability is measurable when striving toward the inclusion of sustainability features. By lowering construction costs through building re-use and recycling plus the incorporation of energy efficient strategies and water management solutions the occupants are ensured to benefit from a significantly reduced running cost of their home. Quality design, security, privacy, and closeness to amenities all impact on peoples’ willingness to accept dense living environments. Each of these issues directly influence people’s acceptance of such developments. If people are satisfied with their living environment then they will take pride in it and, consequently, it will meet the general criteria for social sustainability. From research it has become clear that questions of sustainability, both environmental and social, must be considered as not only equally important factors, but also mutually supporting when seeking solutions regarding the issues of housing affordability. This project has extensively explored and investigated synergies between affordability and sustainability in the medium of architectural design.

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  • The sustainable New Lynn neighbourhood 2020: Balancing environmental efficiency and sufficiency with the quality of social life

    Mazey, Jason (2009)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Developing an understanding and an acceptance of sustainability in the practice of architecture is a crucial step towards restoring global resilience and future-proofing the quality of human life. The purpose of this project has been to achieve a balance between environmental and social sustainability in contemporary urban residential architecture. This was achieved by stressing the complementarity of the environmental and social agendas rather than rivalry, as demonstrated in this design for a sustainable community in Auckland. The design was informed by a research into the concept of ‘comprehensive sustainability’ as a design paradigm which delivers both natural resource efficiency and sufficiency, and the social quality of life. The intention was to design an ecologically sustainable and socially diverse sense of community, with a substantial number of medium density dwellings and some key local amenities, located within a high-visibility urban site, in New Lynn. A key element is to provide a variety of affordable, sustainable housing typologies, appealing to a broad cross section of people. Up until recently, the industry has paid little attention to minimising the negative impacts on the environment from construction and throughout the life of the building, even though there has always been an awareness about how to build sustainably. As a result, built examples are the exception, rather than the rule. The New Lynn project demonstrates high standards of sustainable development with the associated environmental, social and economic benefits. The concept could be implemented and accepted, within the immediate future. This is evident in the master plan and the design of buildings and services which have struck a balance between vision and innovation, realism and practicality.

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  • Visual language in architectural design

    Kiroff, Lydia (2002)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Modern life is mediated through the visual screen. Film and television and the Internet are not just the norm, they are life itself. The new emerging globally shared visual culture becomes the underlying construct that explains and substantiates visual experience in everyday life. According to Walker & Chaplin (1997) the field of visual culture has four domains (fine arts, crafts/design, mass & electronic media and performing arts) and architecture belongs to the fine arts domain. This thesis examines the richness of visual language in architectural design as an expression of the relationships between the domains of visual culture. It explores the extent to which the industry is aware and exploits the opportunities offered. The two research questions developed in this study explore whether all domains within the field of visual culture are sources of inspiration that can influence significantly architectural design through the use of a wide array of visual tools. A qualitative research methodology was selected for the purposes of this study with a range of data collection techniques including: grounded theory, ethnography, case studies, semi-structured interviewing, and action-research. The research results indicate that all domains of visual culture can be regarded as sources of ideas supported by the inspiring designs of the great masters in architecture. McKim’s (1980) graphic abstraction ladder (with the two levels of the concrete and abstract graphic languages) has been used as a base to add the new level of the hybrid graphic languages, which is about storytelling based on all domains of visual culture. This concept has been discussed in the “Synthesis” chapter and further developed and exemplified through the action-research method testing it in an education environment. The “Evaluation” chapter provides opinions and comments by architectural professionals regarding this experimental stage.

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  • Work related musculoskeletal disorders among osteopaths practicing in New Zealand: A national survey

    Fitchew, Gregory Jack (2009)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSDs) have been shown to reduce job satisfaction, clinical efficacy, and personal safety in a variety of healthcare settings (e.g. physiotherapy, nursing, chiropractic). The purpose of the present study was to determine the prevalence of such disorders in a NZ Osteopathic context. This study surveyed 80 members of the Osteopathic Society of New Zealand. Analysis of data indicated a 97.3% WRMSD prevalence rate. Respondents most commonly suffered WRMSDs in the wrist/hands, head/neck, and upper back/thorax. The factors most respondents identified as contributing to their WRMSDs illustrate an association between the way respondents run their practice and their musculoskeletal health. These factors were performing the same task repetitively, treating a large number of patients in a single day, continuing to work when injured, and performing manual osteopathic techniques. The preferred technique modalities identified by respondents were soft tissue, OCF, and articulation. There was a positive effect between preferred techniques and the occurrence of WRMSDs (OR = 1.96, 95% CI = 0.30 to 12.70; RR = 1.05). The results of this study indicate many similarities in WRMSDs between the osteopathic profession and other manual health care professionals. Particular points of interest were the relatively high prevalence rate of WRMSDs and the relatively strong association between preferred practicing techniques and WRMSDs.

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  • Teachers’ perspectives on the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) in two early childhood settings in New Zealand

    Kaur, Daljit (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This research examined teachers’ perspectives on the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in two early childhood settings in New Zealand. The research literature explained that in New Zealand there is scarcity of literature about teachers’ perspectives on the impact of different kinds of ICT in early childhood services. Therefore, to explore teachers’ perspectives must be beneficial to enhance our knowledge and for centres and participants to reflect on their practice for further development of the practice. A qualitative case study methodology was employed for this small-scale research. This included an anonymous questionnaire completed by teachers in two preschools and in-depth interviews. This research increases our knowledge about uses and challenges of ICT among early childhood educators. The results of the study showed that the teachers had variable access to training, as some teachers attended professional development courses, whereas others learnt about ICT from their colleagues and family members. The teachers in the study perceived that ICT is valuable for children’s learning. They believed that ICT increased learning opportunities as children used internet websites/Google to search for information about their favourite topics. They commented that ICT helped to make connections with parents/families, which enabled them to contribute to their children’s learning. They highlighted that children used cameras for taking the photos to revisit, check their learning and share it with parents. They commented that ICT offered children opportunities for listening to songs and stories. The study confirmed that teachers used ICT in their teaching practice. The teachers commented that they used ICT for writing learning story observations and for sharing them with parents. They used ICT for reflecting on their teaching practices and for finding more information about children’s favourite topics. They used internet websites for creating the resources and learnt poi dances. The study results revealed that ICT increased ways of communication with parents/families. The study suggests early childhood centres for arranging and supporting teachers for attending professional development related to ICT. It suggests providing the children with opportunities to use ICT along with other curriculum areas. The findings suggest teachers to use ICT for communication with parents.

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  • Setting suns and rising stars : succession planning in New Zealand’s deaf education leadership workforce : a national study

    Taylor, Saul McKay (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This thesis is the first national study examining succession planning in New Zealand’s Deaf education leadership workforce. The sun is setting on the working tenure of baby-boomer educators, a large proportion of these people have reached school leadership positions. This research examines workforce demographics and the succession mechanisms in place for the rising future leaders of Deaf education in New Zealand. To date this has been an area that has not been investigated within the Aotearoa New Zealand context. A small but growing body of international and New Zealand educational literature indicates mainstream workforces are skewed towards ageing due to a unique demographic turning point as baby-boomers reach retirement age. In the arena of New Zealand Deaf education, workforce ageing presents a special concern. Teaching personnel in this workforce are highly specialised and leaders in this area hold exquisitely contextual knowledge. This thesis is concerned with investigating the need to ensure the quality and quantity of future leadership for Deaf students. If many seasoned leaders and experienced teachers are due to depart in the near term, and there are insufficient succession mechanisms in place, future leadership could be at risk. Three key questions concerning the need for succession planning, were analysed as part of this study. A mixed-methods approach was chosen that involved a quantitative survey of the three Deaf education providers in New Zealand. This was done alongside seven qualitative semi-structured interviews with the senior leaders drawn from across these organisations. Three levels of statistical analysis were applied to the quantitative data to reveal the first national demographic picture of the workforce. Thematic analysis of the qualitative findings revealed the workforce’s motivation to lead and leader’s perceptions of succession planning methods. Methodological triangulation of the findings from the two research tools revealed three main finding areas. Firstly, that an ageing workforce exists, secondly key factors in shaping motivation to lead were identified, and thirdly methods to develop future leaders were pinpointed. The workforce in Deaf education was found to have a more severe skew towards ageing than the mainstream education sector. Amongst a largely static workforce there was found to be a small group of highly motivated individuals who strongly aspired to leadership roles. Formal succession planning mechanisms for this workforce are needed, due to the ageing leadership. In addition to in-role development, pre-role preparatory support was required for aspirants. Specific reluctance and driving factors for leadership were uncovered and the importance of high interpersonal relational skills was emphasised to nurture aspirants and develop a leadership culture. Four recommendations for practice and one recommendation for research are made at the end of this study. The first key recommendation was that investment in leadership preparation and development in Deaf education is worthwhile at both national and organisational level. This stems from the findings that Deaf education personnel have an extremely low rate of attrition out of the profession. Once qualified, most teachers have been found to stay for their entire career. Investment is therefore not wasted. Secondly, there is a need for formal succession mechanisms. Current focus seems to be on volunteerism, self-nomination, development and replacement management. Mechanisms need to include preparation, training and encouragement pathways to identify and nurture future leadership. The third recommendation is based on schools and the Ministry of Education building their own detailed age profiles of personnel. The final practice recommendation is for increased input into building professional self-management skills. Increasingly, aspirants are being deterred from leadership due to reluctance about being able to cope with the impact of stress and workload on their lives. Such on-going professional development for neophyte leaders will assist them to gain the tools to enjoy the challenges of leadership. In terms of a recommendation for future research, gender statistics uncovered in the findings from this study revealed an opportunity for further investigation. A new line of inquiry about gender impact on Deaf students could reveal worthwhile results.

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  • The old North Shore. A heritage walkway: Rahopara Pa to Campbells Bay beach

    Woodruffe, Paul; Henderson, Ian; Corbet, Rob (2011)

    Unclassified
    Unitec

    There are many interesting heritage sites and buildings within what used to be called North Shore City, most of these are protected, documented, valued by the local residents and enjoyed as a destination by visitors. What this exhibition explores are four significant sites that lay just beyond the better known and documented sites of Devonport, Takapuna and Northcote. These sites are situated in Castor Bay and Campbells Bay, and are within easy walking distance from each other. The sites vary in origin from an 17th century Maori settlement, to a 21st century environmental restoration project. All the sites except one have been researched and documented to varying degrees, the one site that was not; Memorial Avenue in Centennial Park, lay neglected by the city authorities for decades until 2009 when the Takapuna Community Board commissioned the everyday collective to undertake a site analysis, this resulted in a heritage classification for the avenue being established within the new management plan for the park. This document puts forward a proposition that links all four sites together as a heritage walkway connecting to the existing NZ Coastal Walkway system that runs along the eastern bays coastline. All these sites contain, or lay adjacent to, valuable architectural or landscape features that contain important stories from the past, stories that share common ground in the rich tapestry of the old north shore.

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