569 results for Doctoral, 2008

  • Care ethics and brain injury

    Butler, Mary (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    It is generally supposed that a supportive family can have an influence on outcomes for an adult with severe brain injury, but there is very little known about what effective families actually do. In this research the families of five such individuals were involved in an ethnographic project that lasted for one year. The literature review brought together insights from brain injury, care ethics, disability studies and anthropology. These insights were combined with a process of reflective equilibrium that was applied to the ethnographic material in order to determine the ethics of the carers. Ethics of care in this setting was conceived of as a positive practice ethic, rather than as a series of negative conundrums posed by the brain injury. The practice ethic shared by carers meant that they all conceived of the need created by brain injury in humanistic terms, rather than in terms of pathology. Carers demonstrated virtues appropriate to their practice as they helped the adult with brain injury to connect with aspects of ordinary life. The best outcomes for the adult with brain injury included being able to engage in productive activity and to make a place in the world. These outcomes could only be achieved with due regard for their safety and subsistence. The practice ethic of carers was demonstrated in the skills and concern that ensured a satisfactory outcome for the adult with brain injury. This research is a departure from recent research about families affected by brain injury, which has focused on the burden involved in care. An examination of what carers achieve suggests that burden may be associated with the development of caring practice. The transformative capacity of care, for both the carer and the adult with brain injury, is emphasized. However contextual factors, such as adequate compensation, are connected to the capacity of the carer to engage in good practice and these are explored also in this thesis. In particular, relevant aspects of the relationship between families and the Accident Compensation Corporation are explored.

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  • Dissolved organic matter in New Zealand natural waters

    Gonsior, Michael (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xi, 186 leaves :ill. (some col.), col. maps ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. "1st of April 2008". University of Otago department: Chemistry.

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  • Transforming Folk: Innovation and Tradition in English Folk–Rock Music

    Burns, Robert G. H. (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    From a mixed methodology perspective that includes ethnology, musicology and cultural anthropology, I argue that, despite initial detachment from folk revivalism, English folk–rock has moved closer to aspects of tradition and historical status and has embraced a revivalist stance similar to that of the folk revivals that occurred earlier in the twentieth century. Whereas revivalism often rejects manifestations of mass culture and modernity, I also argue that the early combinations of folk music and rock music demonstrated that aspects of preservation and commercialisation have always co–existed within this hybrid musical style. English folk–rock, a former progressive rock music style, has emerged in the post–punk era as a world music style that appeals to a broad spectrum of music fans and this audience does not regard issues such as maintenance of authenticity and tradition as key factors in the preservation process. Rock music has remained a stimulus for further change in folk music and has enabled English folk–rock to become regarded as popular music by a new audience with diverse musical tastes. When folk music was adapted into rock settings, the result represented a particular identity for folk music at that time. In a similar way, as folk music continues to be amalgamated with rock and other popular music styles, or is performed in musical settings representing new cultures and ethnicities now present in the United Kingdom, it becomes updated and relevant to new audiences. From this perspective, I propose that growth in the popularity of British folk music since the early 1970s can be linked to its performance as English folk–rock, to its connections with culture and music industry marketing and promotion techniques, and to its inclusion as a 1990s festival component presented to audiences as part of what is promoted as world music. Popularity of folk music presented at world music festivals has stimulated significant growth in folk music audiences since the mid–1990s and consequently the UK is experiencing a new phase of revivalism – the third folk revival.

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  • Mapping first semester challenges : first-year students making sense of their teaching and learning environments

    van der Meer, Jacques (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis investigates first-year students' challenges in making sense of the learning and teaching environment during their first semester at university. The aims for the research are threefold. Firstly, mapping the range of challenges students at one university faced in their learning and teaching environments in the first semester. Secondly, developing a greater understanding of those challenges. Thirdly, identifying what educational initiatives the university could consider that might assist students to meet those challenges. The challenges were examined in the context of changes in higher education. My interest and motivation for this research project concerns improved practices in the first-year teaching and learning environment, rather than improved students. This means that I did not look for deficits within students, but for indications of what helps or does not help students' introduction to the new environment of academia. By mapping students' challenges in the first semester, I hope to contribute to the understanding of academic staff of the range of challenges students have to deal with. The interpretation of the results and my line of argument are partly influenced and shaped by the theoretical framework of academic literacies, and the notion of de-familiarisation. For this project, two data sources were used. The first source was data from a survey carried out in May 2004 amongst students enrolled in 100-level courses. The second source was data from interviews conducted with first-year students in the same year. In considering the analysis as a whole, a number of key issues could be discerned. These related to communication, academic skills, access to resources and help, and engagement and connection. The results showed that some of these issues had less to do with educational practices, and more to do with contested understandings of the nature of university education, and the nature of students now entering university. I argue that underlying these issues there are contentious questions of who should adjust or adapt to whom: students to the university, or the university to students? Students' reported experiences further suggest that some teachers seemed more aware than others that first-year students face particular challenges. Students did not consider their experiences as reflective of the university as a whole. The university was experienced as an institution with divergent ways of organising courses, of valuing aspects of university learning, and of interpreting seemingly similar things. This suggests that where students experienced challenges, these were not necessarily a function of students' characteristics, or students' attitudes to studying, but of particular course environments. The overall picture that presents itself, then, is that there are challenges that could be considered unnecessary. Whereas few students would experience all of the challenges identified in the results chapters, I argue that there are some aspects that warrant improvement. Improvement initiatives in first-year education, however, are not necessarily considered important by all academic staff. This is another contested issue in universities. A more explicit introduction of first-year students to academia as a range of heterogeneous communities would respond to first-year students' needs for familiarisation and clarity, as well as reflect some of the values that universities could be said to espouse. Successful interventions in first-year education, however, will also depend on ongoing dialogue with staff about various contested issues, the changed and changing context of higher education, and related challenges and opportunities.

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  • Rheology of the Alpine Fault Mylonite Zone: deformation processes at and below the base of the seismogenic zone in a major plate boundary structure

    Toy, Virginia (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The Alpine Fault is the major structure of the Pacific-Australian plate boundary through New Zealand’s South Island. During dextral reverse fault slip, a dominant slip. Formation of this highly-oriented fabric would have led to significant geometric softening and enhanced strain localisation. During this high strain deformation, pre-existing Alpine Schist fabrics in polyphase rocks were reconstituted to relatively well-mixed, finer-grained aggregates. As a result of this fabric homogenisation, strong syn-mylonitic object lineations were not formed. Strain models show that weak lineations trending towards ~090 degrees and kinematic directions indicated by asymmetric fabrics and CPO pattern symmetry could have formed during pure shear stretches up-dip of the fault of ~ 3.5, coupled with simple shear strains, gamma >=30. The preferred estimate of simple:pure shear strain gives a kinematc vorticity number, Wk>=0.9997. Rapid exhumation due to fault slip resulted in advection of crustal isotherms. New thermobarometric and fluid inclusion analyses from fault zone materials allow the thermal gradient along an uplift path in the fault rocks to be more precisely defined than previously. Fluid inclusion data indicate temperatures of 325±15 degrees C were experienced at depths of ~ 4.5 km, so that a high thermal gradient of ~75 degrees C/km is indicated in the near-surface. This gradient must fall off to -slip quartz CPO fabrics indicate deformation temperatures did not exceed 650 degrees C at >=7.0-8.5±1.5 kbar, ie. 26-33 km depth. During exhumation, the strongly oriented quartzite fabrics were not favourably oriented for activation of the lower temperature basal slip system, which should have dominated at depths 25μm, indicating maximum differential stress of ~55 MPa for most mylonites). It is likely that the preferentially oriented prism slip system was activated during these events, so the Y-maximum CPO fabrics were preserved. Simple numerical models show that activation of this slip system is favoured over the basal system, which has a lower critical resolved shear stress (CRSS) at low temperatures, for aggregates with strong Y-maximum orientations. Absence of pervasive crystal-plastic deformation of micas and feldspars during activation of this mechanism also resulted in preservation of mineral chemistries from the highest grades of mylonitic deformation (ie. amphibolite-facies). Retrograde, epidote-amphibolite to greenschist-facies mineral assemblages were pervasively developed in ultramylonites and cataclasites immediately adjacent to the fault core and in footwall-derived mylonites, perhaps during episodic transfer of this material into and subsequently out of the cooler footwall block. In the more distal protomylonites, retrograde assemblages were locally developed along shear bands that also accommodated most of the mylonitic deformation in these rocks. Ti-in-biotite thermometry suggests biotite in these shear bands equilibrated down to ~500±50 degrees C, suggesting crystal-plastic deformation of this mineral continued to these temperatures. Crossed-girdle quartz CPO fabrics were formed in these protomylonites by basal dominant slip, indicating a strongly oriented fabric had not previously formed at depth due to the relatively small strains, and that dislocation creep of quartz continued at depths =0.98), but require a similar total pure shear component. Furthermore, they indicate an increase in the simple shear component with time, consistent with incorporation of new hanging-wall material into the fault zone. Pre-existing lineations were only slowly rotated into coincidence with the mylonitic simple shear direction in the shear bands since they lay close to the simple shear plane, and inherited orientations were not destroyed until large finite strains (<100) were achieved. As the fault rocks were exhumed through the brittle-viscous transition, they experienced localised brittle shear failures. These small-scale seismic events formed friction melts (ie. pseudotachylytes).The volume of pseudotachylyte produced is related to host rock mineralogy (more melt in host rocks containing hydrated minerals), and fabric (more melt in isotropic host rocks). Frictional melting also occurred within cataclastic hosts, indicating the cataclasites around the principal slip surface of the Alpine Fault were produced by multiple episodes of discrete shear rather than distributed cataclastic flow. Pseudotachylytes were also formed in the presence of fluids, suggesting relatively high fault gouge permeabilities were transiently attained, probably during large earthquakes. Frictional melting contributed to formation of phyllosilicate-rich fault gouges, weakening the brittle structure and promoting slip localisation. The location of faulting and pseudotachylyte formation, and the strength of the fault in the brittle regime were strongly influenced by cyclic hydrothermal cementation processes. A thermomechanical model of the central Alpine Fault zone has been defined using the results of this study. The mylonites represent a localised zone of high simple shear strain, embedded in a crustal block that underwent bulk pure shear. The boundaries of the simple shear zone moved into the surrounding material with time. This means that the exhumed sequence does not represent a simple ‘time slice’ illustrating progressive fault rock development during increasing simple shear strains. The deformation history of the mylonites at deep crustal P -T conditions had a profound influence on subsequent deformation mechanisms and fabric development during exhumation.

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  • Moving beyond acknowledgment : an investigation of the role of spirituality and religion within the professional practice of social work in Aotearoa/New Zealand

    Stirling, Blair (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    For the past two decades there has been an ever expanding interest in the implications of spirituality and, or, religion within the professional practice of social work (Anderson and Angell, 1999; Bishop, Avila-Juarbe, & Thumme, 2003; Cornett, 1992; Northcut, 1999; Northcut, 2000; Praglin, 2004 ; Sheridan, Wilmer and Atcheson,1994). Increasingly, scholars and social workers alike have been considering the appropriateness of inclusion and the practical implications involved. This interest has developed to include attention to spirituality within varying ethical codes and definitions of social work. This is evident in international social work organisations such as the IFSW (International Federation of Social Workers) and IASSW (International Association of Schools of Social Work). Both have begun to include religious and, or, spiritual concerns into professional practice principles. In Aotearoa New Zealand the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) is a member of these international bodies; thus the profession is bound to the above principles. Additionally, the Aotearoa New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) code of practice reflects the standards and ethical codes of the ANZASW. Moreover, spirituality and, or, religion is an important aspect for different client groups within the Aotearoa social services context. This is particularly so within bicultural frameworks. Despite this, little attention has been given to exploring how social workers and social service agencies in Aotearoa New Zealand integrate this aspect in their work with clients to meet the varying ethical requirements. Additionally, little investigation has been undertaken to explore the implications religion and, or, spirituality might have within the Aotearoa New Zealand Social Services context. To date a number of conversations have occurred with regard to spirituality and religious concerns for Tangata Whenua, and to a lesser degree Tagata Pasifika. This study seeks to address the paucity of information by undertaking a mixed methods investigation of the role religion and spirituality has within Aotearoa New Zealand social work.

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  • Genealogical Family History in Aotearoa-New Zealand: From Community of Practice to Transdisciplinary Academic Discourse?

    Brown, Margaret Mary Selman (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Genealogical Family Historians conduct research in order to reconstruct genealogical families, through the application of a rigorous methodology: weighing the evidence for placing each individual in a family group, linking family groups of the past and making contact with kin of the present. Genealogical Family Historians trace the movements and migrations of identified individuals and family groups; and study the local, national and international social settings of lives lived in families and households in different times and places, over many generations. A large worldwide Community of Practice with many constituent groups, including the New Zealand Society of Genealogists Incorporated, has formed itself around this research activity. In this transdisciplinary study focused on social learning, I have explored and analysed the domain, the practice and the community of Genealogical Family Historians researching in and from Aotearoa-New Zealand during the past 50 years. Genealogical Family Historians meet formally and informally, in small groups or at large conferences to pursue their self-directed learning. The collaborative practice includes publishing and teaching; and the locating, preserving and indexing of records. Many conduct research and communicate with others in the new world of cyberspace. My overarching research question has been: where is the future place for this scholarly discourse? My approach to this study is transdisciplinary: my point-of-view is above and across departments and disciplines. The ethos and vision of transdisciplinarity is attained only through existing disciplines, and transdisciplinary research has the potential to contribute to those disciplines, as I demonstrate in this thesis. The transdisciplinary scholarly discourse of Genealogical Family History owes much to the disciplines of history, geography and sociology; and draws on biology, law, religious studies, linguistics, demography, computer science and information technology. I have also drawn on understandings from my own prior and concurrent disciplinary knowledge and experience for this study. Other Genealogical Family Historians bring different disciplinary understandings to the discourse that is Genealogical Family History. My positionality is that of an insider, an involved member of the Community of Practice for many years. In this study, I have allowed my key informants to speak with their own voices; and I have sought illustration and evidence from documentation and observation in the wider Genealogical Family History Community, past and present. I have used enhanced reflection on my own practice in my analysis and in case studies. This study demonstrates how the Community of Practice has played an important role in developing a transdisciplinary mode of inquiry and suggests that there are some generic features of the field and practice of Genealogical Family History that form the substance of a transdisciplinary discourse ready to take its place in academia.

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  • The Price of Mauri: Exploring the validity of Welfare Economics when seeking to measure Mātauranga Māori

    Awatere, Shaun (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Since the 1980s New Zealand has pursued neo-classical or market-based policies with a particular fervour. Market-based options are seen by resource management decision makers as essential frameworks for efficiently allocating resources, an approach that continues to support the view of the inherent dominance of Western knowledge. This is particularly concerning, given that Māori (the indigenous people of New Zealand), have an important role to play in New Zealand resource management and perceive their own knowledge systems have been marginalised. The primary goal of this thesis is to explore the validity of welfare economics when seeking to measure quantitatively Mātauranga Māori or Māori views of the environment through the contingent valuation method. A contingent valuation study is carried out using three separate samples drawn from the general Māori population in Auckland city, a hāpu/sub-tribe indigenous to the Auckland isthmus, and drivers of motor vehicles in Auckland city. Data collection modes include a postal survey and face-to-face interviews. This thesis challenges the validity of political-legal ethnicity constructs to measure Mātauranga Māori. The search for a central tendency will lead to biased, misleading and inaccurate results. The thesis also challenges the validity of contingent valuation to produce true economic measures and to measure and identify Mātauranga Māori. Despite advances in analytical techniques, economic efficiency measures are always deficient, given the difficulty of capturing and anticipating all impacts and valuing them appropriately. Mātauranga Māori is derived from a Māori epistemology and should be considered or analysed with primary reference to this body of knowledge. Economic analysis is only one important cog in the machinery of resource management policy. Given that an economist's contribution to local and regional resource management is most valuable when focusing on the economic efficiency of the proposed resource allocation, it is appropriate that other perspectives such as Mātauranga Māori be considered.

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  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Conformance-Based Plans: Attributing Built Heritage Outcomes to Plan Implementation Under New Zealand's Resource Management Act

    Mason, Greg (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Little is known about the effectiveness of district plans in protecting built heritage, which is a matter of national importance under New Zealand's Resource Management Act 1991 (RMAct). This is despite the fact that the RMAct directs planning agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of plan provisions. This lack of evaluation is not unique to New Zealand or merely symptomatic of heritage planning. Instead, it is a shortcoming in planning theory and practice internationally; a well recognised impediment being that planning lacks a suitable evaluation approach. This thesis aims to address this deficiency by proposing a methodology for evaluating plan effectiveness and applying it to the built heritage provisions of two district plans. The methodology adopted has been shaped by the theory-based and realist evaluation approaches, as developed in the field of programme evaluation. Both approaches share a common ontology regarding claims of causality, which stresses 'knowledge in context'. Thus, a central endeavour of the research is not only to identify the environmental outcomes arising from plan implementation, but also to understand how and why the implementation context promoted or inhibited the achievement of plan goals. In so doing, the causal and implementation theories underpinning the plans' heritage provisions are exposed, modelled and tested. The findings reveal that plan implementation failed to prevent the loss of built heritage values in many instances. While the plans' causal theory was largely sound, key aspects of the implementation theory were not realised during the development control process. Plan quality was a significant factor, as was the commitment and capacity of developers to comply with the plans. The institutional fixation on consent processing speed rather than environmental outcomes was a further impediment. Overall, the theory-based approach provided a useful framework for determining plan effectiveness and holds promise for evaluating plan issues other than built heritage.

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  • Going 'walli' and having 'jinni': Exploring Somali expressions of psychological distress and approaches to treatment

    Ryan, Juanita Frances (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Western researchers conducting studies with Somali refugee participants have identified Somali-specific idioms of psychological distress as well as high rates of Western psychological disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in this refugee group. Methodological limitations of these previous studies, however, have limited the validity of the conclusions drawn. These limitations include the use of Western psychometric instruments and diagnostic nosologies, limited information about the methodological procedures undertaken, the apparently unqualified use of terms such as mental illness, madness and craziness in interview schedules, minimal exploration of psychosomatic idioms of distress, and limited applicability of some of the research findings to Somali women.. The current research primarily aimed to address these methodological short-comings and build on the findings of previous studies that have explored Somali conceptions of distress. Two additional objectives were to (i) identify protective and resilience factors which may decrease vulnerability to experiencing psychological distress in Somali women, (ii) gauge non-Somali health professionals' understanding of (a) the nature of distress and suffering experienced by Somali women, and (b) effective treatment modalities to ameliorate this distress. The analytical style employed in all three studies of this thesis was thematic. In the first study, ten Hamilton (New Zealand) based Somali women were interviewed. Particular areas of interest explored in the first study included psychological, physical and spiritual conceptions of distress, the symptoms of key idioms of distress, and the way in which these are managed/treated at the individual, community, and family levels. The findings of Study 1 identified spirit (jinn) possession as a form of distress known by at least some members of the local Somali community. Jinn appeared to be an explanation for both milder forms of distress akin to depression and anxiety, as well as more severe forms of distress similar to psychosis. Treatment for jinn possession tended to focus on Koran readings in conjunction with family and community-based support. Generally participants considered there was a very limited role for mental health professionals and Western psychiatric medication in the extraction of jinn. Faith was considered a key protective factor against experiencing non-spiritual forms of distress such as stress, worry, anxiety and depression. Although war trauma was acknowledged to have an adverse impact on the psychological functioning of Somali women it was not considered to impact on a woman's ability to manage her day-to-day responsibilities. The impact of having family in refugee camps in Africa was, however, identified as a common and very distressing issue impacting on many Somali women. The only way of alleviating the distress associated with this stressor, according to participants, was reunification. Interviewees stated that Western interventions for distress were rarely pursued by Somali as they were not considered efficacious. Given there is evidence that Somali communities residing in various cities in New Zealand are at various stages of acculturation, it was considered important to ascertain how valid the results from Study 1 were considered to be by women from other Somali communities. Six focus groups were conducted with a total of 27 Somali women recruited from three New Zealand cities. The findings of Study 2 identified numerous culturally specific forms of distress reported by participants. These states were qalbijab, boofis, murug, welwel and jinn. These Somali idioms of distress were akin to some Western psychological disorders, particularly the depression and anxiety spectrums. Treatment for Somali forms of suffering were reported to focus on Koran readings, in addition to family and community support. Generally, participants in Study 2 considered there was a very limited role for general practitioners (GPs) and mental health professionals in assisting Somali to deal with psychological and spiritual distress. Consistent with the findings of Study 1, faith was considered the most important protective factor, family separation was described as one of the most significant stressors, and war related trauma was suggested to cause significant distress only if the sufferer had family still in Africa. Study 3 explored non-Somali health practitioners' understanding of Somali idioms of distress, as well as their perspectives about how to best treat Somali presenting with psychological distress. A total of 18 mainstream mental health practitioners, general health practitioners (both GPs and primary care nurses), and specialist refugee mental health practitioners took part in this research. Few practitioners mentioned spirit possession as an aetiology for distress and none mentioned other Somali-specific forms of distress. The psychosocial stressors identified as contributing to the psychological distress of Somali women were relatively consistent across the three groups of practitioners and also consistent with the stressors identified by participants in Studies 1 and 2 (e.g., family separation, social isolation, financial concerns). Interviewees did not consider PTSD to be a common psychological disorder amongst Somali women living in New Zealand. Advocacy work and assistance with day-to-day concerns were suggested by many participants as more efficacious for the amelioration of psychosocial stressors than medication-based treatment. Generally, participants in Study 3 were supportive of traditional forms of healing being used as the treatment of choice by Somali clients. The findings of the current thesis suggest that there are clear parallels between Somali idioms of distress and those of Western cultures. However, the data indicate that equating Somali idioms with Western diagnostic labels would be rejected by Somali. Regardless of the similarity of symptom profile of some of the Somali states to Western states, the manner in which these states are conceptualised, understood and treated is markedly different. The findings of all three studies suggested that Somali tend to opt for their own traditional interventions to treat psychological and spiritual forms of distress rather than engage with Western mental health services. Numerous barriers including long waiting lists, mental health practitioners' apparent lack of knowledge/expertise working cross-culturally and poor treatment outcomes were provided for Somali not engaging with such services. The stigma attached to having a mental illness was also considered a barrier to engaging with mental health services. With respect to improving service provision for non-Western clients, an intermediate service that sits between primary and secondary health care agencies is recommended as an effective means of meeting the needs of non-Western clients experiencing psychosocial stressors and mild to moderate psychological distress. It is imperative, however, that any such service involves key stakeholders from the community groups it would serve, in the design, development, and implementation of interventions.

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  • The Influence of Fibre Processing and Treatments on Hemp Fibre/Epoxy and Hemp Fibre/PLA Composites

    Islam, Mohammad Saiful (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    In recent years, due to growing environmental awareness, considerable attention has been given to the development and production of natural fibre reinforced polymer (both thermoset and thermoplastic) composites. The main objective of this study was to reinforce epoxy and polylactic acid (PLA) with hemp fibre to produce improved composites by optimising the fibre treatment methods, composite processing methods, and fibre/matrix interfacial bonding. An investigation was conducted to obtain a suitable fibre alkali treatment method to: (i) remove non-cellulosic fibre components such as lignin (sensitive to ultra violet (UV) radiation) and hemicelluloses (sensitive to moisture) to improve long term composites stability (ii) roughen fibre surface to obtain mechanical interlocking with matrices (iii)expose cellulose hydroxyl groups to obtain hydrogen and covalent bonding with matrices (iv) separate the fibres from their fibre bundles to make the fibre surface available for bonding with matrices (v) retain tensile strength by keeping fibre damage to a minimum level and (vi) increase crystalline cellulose by better packing of cellulose chains to enhance the thermal stability of the fibres. An empirical model was developed for fibre tensile strength (TS) obtained with different treatment conditions (different sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulphite (Na2SO3) concentrations, treatment temperatures, and digestion times) by a partial factorial design. Upon analysis of the alkali fibre treatments by single fibre tensile testing (SFTT), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), zeta potential measurements, differential thermal analysis/thermogravimetric analysis (DTA/TGA), wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXRD), lignin analysis and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, a treatment consisting of 5 wt% NaOH and 2 wt% Na2SO3 concentrations, with a treatment temperature of 120oC and a digestion time of 60 minutes, was found to give the best combination of the required properties. This alkali treatment produced fibres with an average TS and Young's modulus (YM) of 463 MPa and 33 GPa respectively. The fibres obtained with the optimised alkali treatment were further treated with acetic anhydride and phenyltrimethoxy silane. However, acetylated and silane treated fibres were not found to give overall performance improvement. Cure kinetics of the neat epoxy (NE) and 40 wt% untreated fibre/epoxy (UTFE) composites were studied and it was found that the addition of fibres into epoxy resin increased the reaction rate and decreased the curing time. An increase in the nucleophilic activity of the amine groups in the presence of fibres is believed to have increased the reaction rate of the fibre/epoxy resin system and hence reduced the activation energies compared to NE. The highest interfacial shear strength (IFSS) value for alkali treated fibre/epoxy (ATFE) samples was 5.2 MPa which was larger than the highest value of 2.7 MPa for UTFE samples supporting that there was a stronger interface between alkali treated fibre and epoxy resin. The best fibre/epoxy bonding was found for an epoxy to curing agent ratio of 1:1 (E1C1) followed by epoxy to curing agent ratios of 1:1.2 (E1C1.2), 1: 0.8 (E1C0.8), and finally for 1:0.6 (E1C0.6). Long and short fibre reinforced epoxy composites were produced with various processing conditions using vacuum bag and compression moulding. A 65 wt% untreated long fibre/epoxy (UTLFE) composite produced by compression moulding at 70oC with a TS of 165 MPa, YM of 17 GPa, flexural strength of 180 MPa, flexural modulus of 10.1 GPa, impact energy (IE) of 14.5 kJ/m2, and fracture toughness (KIc) of 5 MPa.m1/2 was found to be the best in contrast to the trend of increased IFSS for ATFE samples. This is considered to be due to stress concentration as a result of increased fibre/fibre contact with the increased fibre content in the ATFE composites compared to the UTFE composites. Hygrothermal ageing of 65 wt% untreated and alkali treated long and short fibre/epoxy composites (produced by curing at 70oC) showed that long fibre/epoxy composites were more resistant than short fibre/epoxy composites and ATFE composites were more resistant than UTFE composites towards hygrothermal ageing environments as revealed from diffusion coefficients and tensile, flexural, impact, fracture toughness, SEM, TGA, and WAXRD test results. Accelerated ageing of 65 wt% UTLFE and alkali treated long fibre/epoxy (ATLFE) composites (produced by curing at 70oC) showed that ATLFE composites were more resistant than UTLFE composites towards hygrothermal ageing environments as revealed from tensile, flexural, impact, KIc, SEM, TGA, WAXRD, FTIR test results. IFSS obtained with untreated fibre/PLA (UFPLA) and alkali treated fibre/PLA (ATPLA) samples showed that ATPLA samples had greater IFSS than that of UFPLA samples. The increase in the formation of hydrogen bonding and mechanical interlocking of the alkali treated fibres with PLA could be responsible for the increased IFSS for ATPLA system compared to UFPLA system. Long and short fibre reinforced PLA composites were also produced with various processing conditions using compression moulding. A 32 wt% alkali treated long fibre PLA composite produced by film stacking with a TS of 83 MPa, YM of 11 GPa, flexural strength of 143 MPa, flexural modulus of 6.5 GPa, IE of 9 kJ/m2, and KIc of 3 MPa.m1/2 was found to be the best. This could be due to the better bonding of the alkali treated fibres with PLA. The mechanical properties of this composite have been found to be the best compared to the available literature. Hygrothermal and accelerated ageing of 32 wt% untreated and alkali treated long fibre/PLA composites ATPLA composites were more resistant than UFPLA composites towards hygrothermal and accelerated ageing environments as revealed from diffusion coefficients and tensile, flexural, impact, KIc, SEM, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), WAXRD, and FTIR results. Increased potential hydrogen bond formation and mechanical interlocking of the alkali treated fibres with PLA could be responsible for the increased resistance of the ATPLA composites. Based on the present study, it can be said that the performance of natural fibre composites largely depend on fibre properties (e.g. length and orientation), matrix properties (e.g. cure kinetics and crystallinity), fibre treatment and processing methods, and composite processing methods.

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  • Basin analysis of the late Eocene - Oligocene Te Kuiti Group, western North Island, New Zealand

    Tripathi, Anand Ratnakar Prasad (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Paleogeography - Te kuiti group (Map 1-13) in print copy

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  • Random Relational Rules

    Anderson, Grant (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    In the field of machine learning, methods for learning from single-table data have received much more attention than those for learning from multi-table, or relational data, which are generally more computationally complex. However, a significant amount of the world's data is relational. This indicates a need for algorithms that can operate efficiently on relational data and exploit the larger body of work produced in the area of single-table techniques. This thesis presents algorithms for learning from relational data that mitigate, to some extent, the complexity normally associated with such learning. All algorithms in this thesis are based on the generation of random relational rules. The assumption is that random rules enable efficient and effective relational learning, and this thesis presents evidence that this is indeed the case. To this end, a system for generating random relational rules is described, and algorithms using these rules are evaluated. These algorithms include direct classification, classification by propositionalisation, clustering, semi-supervised learning and generating random forests. The experimental results show that these algorithms perform competitively with previously published results for the datasets used, while often exhibiting lower runtime than other tested systems. This demonstrates that sufficient information for classification and clustering is retained in the rule generation process and that learning with random rules is efficient. Further applications of random rules are investigated. Propositionalisation allows single-table algorithms for classification and clustering to be applied to the resulting data, reducing the amount of relational processing required. Further results show that techniques for utilising additional unlabeled training data improve accuracy of classification in the semi-supervised setting. The thesis also develops a novel algorithm for building random forests by makingefficient use of random rules to generate trees and leaves in parallel.

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  • Operant Methodology Out Of The Lab and Applied To Enrichment With Captive Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes)

    Vivian, Melanie (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    A group of socially-housed chimpanzees, maintained in a zoo facility, were given the opportunity to access each of several purpose-designed and built enrichment items. Each item was made freely available in the chimpanzees' regular setting, with their normal activities available. The time members of the group spent engaging with each item gave an assessment of their relative preference for the items. The group were shown to have the greatest preference for a foraging enrichment item (Screwfeeder) and the least preference for an audiovisual enrichment item (TV/Video). Individual preferences for the items were evident. The chimpanzees were then taught to operate a weighted lever to get access to an item. Once all chimpanzees had operated the lever for access to the items, the number of lever operations required for access to each item was systematically doubled over a series of 3 hr sessions until the chimpanzees did not gain any access to that item for two consecutive sessions. One item was presented for two series of increases. The group response rates for an item increased with increased response requirement and then decreased with further increases, reflecting data from individuals in other research. The highest response requirement that maintained the group behaviour differed over the items. The number of times an item was accessed (consumption) was plotted against the response requirement (price) on logarithmic coordinates. Lines fitted to the data (demand functions) were shallowest for a foraging enrichment (Screwfeeder) and steepest for the audio enrichment (Musicbox). There were not enough data points to fit a function for the audiovisual enrichment. Differences in individual's demand within the group were evident. In general, the rank order of preference for the items and the rank order based on the parameters of the demand functions (slope or elasticity and initial intensity) was broadly the same. Three individual chimpanzees were exposed to two series of increasing response requirement for access to the Screwfeeder whilst housed alone, in one hour sessions. Response rates were again bitonic and the linear demand functions for these individuals were steeper (more elastic) than the functions fitted to data for group responding and differed idiosyncratically from the data for these individual when responding as part of the group. Thus the change of social setting had a different impact on the behaviour of each of the individuals. These results show that an animals‟ demand for a commodity is altered by the environment in which it is tested. ii Overall the research provides the first example of operant methodology in a zoo setting with a group of chimpanzees. It is also the first research to show differential responding for access to different enrichment items by a group and how this relates to their preference (based on time allocation) for those items.

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  • Bovine mastitis and ecology of Streptococcus uberis

    Pryor, Shona Marie (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Bovine mastitis caused by Streptococcus uberis is a common problem in pasture-based dairying systems. This study examines both the ecology of S. uberis and infection of the bovine mammary gland on a New Zealand dairy farm. Initially, the REP-PCR strain typing method was developed and the potential of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry evaluated as a strain typing method. While strain-specific mass spectra were obtained with MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, the irreproducibility of spectra was its major downfall. With further work, this rapid method could be very useful for strain typing S. uberis on a large scale. Using optimised REP-PCR and anchored typing methods, multiple S. uberis strains were isolated and strain typed from the dairy environment, including farm races and paddocks, faeces, teat skin, the cow body and from intramammary infections. High strain diversity was observed in all sampled locations; however, some strains were found at more than one site, suggesting transmission may occur between the environment and cows. The most likely means of S. uberis distribution throughout the dairy farm was via excretion with faeces and, although not all cow faeces contained this pathogen, the gastrointestinal tract of some cows appeared to be colonised by specific strains, resulting in persistent shedding of this bacteria in the faeces. Infection of the mammary gland is likely to occur through contamination of the teat skin with highly diverse environmental strains of S. uberis. However, only one or two strains are generally found in milk from mastitis cases, suggesting that, although infection may arise from a random or opportunistic event, a strain selection process may take place. Intramammary challenge with multiple strains of S. uberis revealed that selection of a single infective strain can occur within the mammary gland. The predominance of one strain over others may be related to production of virulence factors allowing enhanced ability to establish in the gland and evade the immune response, or due to direct competition between strains through the production of antimicrobial factors such as bacteriocins. In addition to strain-specific factors, the individual cow and quarter response may play an important role in the development of infection and selection of the infective strain. Using results from this study, a model of S. uberis strain transmission has been proposed, which includes potential mechanisms of infection and persistence of S. uberis within the mammary gland.

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  • Teaching English to Young Learners in Taiwan: Issues relating to teaching, teacher education, teaching materials and teacher perspectives

    Wang, Wei-Pei (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Abstract Since 2005, it has been government policy in Taiwan to introduce English in Grade 3 of primary schooling (when learners are generally age 9). The overall aim of this research project was to investigate some of the problems associated with the implementation of this policy by combining research involving teacher cognition with research involving the criterion-referenced analysis of a sample of textbooks produced in Taiwan for young learners and a sample of lessons taught in Taiwanese primary schools. A questionnaire-based survey of a sample of teachers of English in Taiwanese primary schools (166 respondents) was conducted, focusing on teacher background and training, views about national and local policies, approaches to course content, methodology and teaching resources, and perceptions of their own proficiency in English and of their own training needs. Only 46 (27%) of the respondents reported that they had a qualification specific to the teaching of English and 41 (25%) reported that they had neither a qualification in teaching English nor a general primary teaching qualification. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the implementation of policies relating to the teaching of English at national level (46/ 29%), local level (39/24%) and in their own school (28/17%). Although many reported that the availability of resources (125/ 75%) and/ or student interest (101/ 61%) played a role in determining what they taught, none reported that the national curriculum guidelines did so. Although official policy in Taiwan endorses the use of 'communicative language teaching', only 103 (62%) of respondents reported that their own approach was communicatively-oriented, with 18 (11%) observing that they preferred grammar-translation. A more in-depth survey relating to teacher perception of pre- and in-service training was conducted using a questionnaire and semi-structured interview. Although all 10 participants in this survey are officially classified as being trained to teach English in Taiwanese primary schools, the type and extent of their training varied widely and all of them expressed dissatisfaction with that training, noting that they had no confidence in the trainers' own competence in teaching English to young learners. All claimed that critical issues were either omitted altogether or dealt with in a superficial way. One contextual factor that has a significant impact on teacher performance in Taiwan is the quality of the textbooks that are generally available. A sample of textbooks (3 different series) produced in Taiwan was analysed and evaluated, the analysis revealing that the materials were often poorly organised, inappropriately selected and illustrated, contextually inappropriate. Finally, from a sample of twenty videotaped English lessons taught to students in primary schools in Taiwan, six that were considered to be typical were transcribed, analysed and evaluated in relation to criteria derived from a review of literature on teaching effectiveness. All of these lessons were found to be characterised by problems in a number of areas, including lesson focus, lesson staging, concept introduction, concept checking, and the setting up and conducting activities. It is concluded that the implementation of official policy on the teaching of English in primary schools in Taiwan is fraught with problems, problems that are evident at every stage in the process, from teacher education, through materials design to lesson planning and delivery.

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  • Network Simulation Cradle

    Jansen, Samuel Thomas (2008)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis proposes the use of real world network stacks instead of protocol abstractions in a network simulator, bringing the actual code used in computer systems inside the simulator and allowing for greater simulation accuracy. Specifically, a framework called the Network Simulation Cradle is created that supports the kernel source code from FreeBSD, OpenBSD and Linux to make the network stacks from these systems available to the popular network simulator ns-2. Simulating with these real world network stacks reveals situations where the result differs significantly from ns-2's TCP models. The simulated network stacks are able to be directly compared to the same operating system running on an actual machine, making validation simple. When measuring the packet traces produced on a test network and in simulation the results are nearly identical, a level of accuracy previously unavailable using traditional TCP simulation models. The results of simulations run comparing ns-2 TCP models and our framework are presented in this dissertation along with validation studies of our framework showing how closely simulation resembles real world computers. Using real world stacks to simulate TCP is a complementary approach to using the existing TCP models and provides an extra level of validation. This way of simulating TCP and other protocols provides the network researcher or engineer new possibilities. One example is using the framework as a protocol development environment, which allows user-level development of protocols with a standard set of reproducible tests, the ability to test scenarios which are costly or impossible to build physically, and being able to trace and debug the protocol code without affecting results.

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  • Effect of brief-intermittent hypoxic exposure on high-intensity kayaking and cycling performance

    Bonetti, Darrell (2008-02-01)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Adaptation to the shortage of oxygen at altitude (hypoxia) promotes physiological changes which could enhance endurance performance. Consequently, altitude training has become a popular practice among competitive endurance athletes. Since its inception, the live-high train-low paradigm (LHTL) has been widely regarded as the most effective approach to altitude training. Over the past decade, brief intermittent simulation of LHTL via the use of hypoxic inhalers and re-breathing devices has gained increased popularity, but the evidence supporting their use is limited and conflicting. The experimental studies in this thesis investigated the response of sea level exercise performance and related physiological measures following adaptation to the usual and a novel protocol of brief intermittent hypoxia. I intended to perform all experimental studies on flat-water kayakers. Therefore, an initial requirement of this thesis was to establish the smallest worthwhile effect in performance for this sport. The final study utilising a meta-analytic approach was conducted to compare the effectiveness of brief intermittent hypoxia to other natural and simulated protocols, and to investigate the topical issue of what physiological responses mediate performance changes following hypoxic exposure. In Study 1, the typical variation in competitive performance of elite flat-water canoeists was investigated using a repeated-measures analysis of race times. For individual flat-water canoeing events, the smallest worthwhile change in performance time was ~0.5%. In two separate experimental studies, adaptation to 60 min per day of brief intermittent hypoxia consisting of alternating 5 min intervals of hypoxia and normoxia for 3 weeks (5 days per week) using a nitrogen filtration device resulted in clear enhancement of endurance performance (~5%) for kayakers (Study 2) and cyclists (Study 3). Clear enhancements in repeat sprint performance were observed for kayaking only. The physiological mechanisms underlying performance changes were unclear. Modification of the hypoxic and normoxic intervals (Study 3) did not result in any clear alterations in performance or physiological mechanisms. The meta-analysis (Study 4) revealed clear enhancements in endurance power output of 1-3% in sub-elites following adaptation to hypoxia with the natural altitude protocols, and with two of the artificial-altitude protocols (LHTL-long and LHTL-brief-intermittent). In elite athletes the enhancements tended to be smaller and were clear only for the natural protocols. These enhancements could be mediated by VO2max, although other mechanisms may be possible.

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  • Accruals: signalling or misleading? Evidence from New Zealand

    Koerniadi, Hardjo (2008-02-26)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Studies on earnings management usually hypothesise that managers manage accruals opportunistically. Few studies however, argue that managers can also use accruals to improve the value relevance of reported earnings to help investors better assess the firm's operating performance. While substantial evidence on managers' opportunistic behaviour on accruals has been documented in the literature, empirical evidence on the informativeness of accruals is scarce and inconclusive. The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether managers use accruals to communicate private information regarding the firm's operating performance, or as reported in the literature, use them for their own benefit. This thesis finds that on average, firms reporting high earnings accompanied by high accruals have significantly negative subsequent period stock returns suggesting that these firms manage their accounting earnings. Focusing on stock dividend issues as an incentive to opportunistically increase accruals, the results are found to be consistent with the earnings management hypothesis. Stock dividend issuing firms are reported to significantly increase accruals in the issue year followed by poor earnings and stock price performances in the subsequent year. Moreover, discretionary accruals of the issuing firms are negatively correlated with both future earnings and abnormal stock returns. This evidence attempts to complement the earnings management literature. The analysis on the incentive to decrease accruals related to share repurchases, however, does not provide sufficient evidence to suggest that managers use their discretion to decrease accruals. To investigate the hypothesis that managers use accruals to convey information regarding their firm's future profitability, this thesis employs the contemporaneous earnings and dividend announcements as the research setting. This choice was made to increase the likelihood of detecting the use of accruals as private information communication while simultaneously mitigating the likelihood of the opportunistic income smoothing hypothesis to explain the results. The evidence strongly indicates that managers use both accruals and dividend increases as their private information communication regarding their firm's future profitability. Dividend increasing firms report positive accruals which are positively correlated with future profitability. This finding contributes to the literature by providing evidence on the accrual signalling hypothesis. Overall, the results of this thesis suggest that, depending on the incentives, managers can use the discretion accorded under the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in estimating accounting accrual, either to manage accruals opportunistically or to help investors better assess the firms' operating performance.

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  • Corporate reputation: Ontology and measurement

    Lloyd, Stephen (2008-09-24T22:19:06Z)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The focus of this research is on the development of ontology and on a more effective way to measure corporate reputation that takes into consideration the orientations of a company’s various stakeholders. The focus by researchers and by practitioners on corporate reputation and on its management attests to an expanding interest. Yet there remains disparate knowledge about how corporate reputation should be defined; about what are its key components; about the relationships between those components and about how corporate reputation should be measured. This point to a need for clarification: to develop a methodology based on ontology of corporate reputation that has relevance for a company’s various stakeholder groups. This research builds on a review of the academic literature and employs text analysis, the nominal group technique and a quantitative survey among stakeholders about the reputation of a high profile company. Theory-driven analysis provides insights into the corporate reputation construct and into a tool for measurement that takes into consideration stakeholder perceptions of a company’s reputation. The results of the study indicate that, in the eyes of its stakeholders, a company’s reputation is driven by nine factors: image, identity, management leadership, performance, corporate brand, products and services, financial performance, ethical management and leadership, and corporate leadership. Not all nine components share the same degree of relevance for stakeholders: different stakeholder groups rank the importance of the components of corporate reputation differently; they evaluate the reputation of the same company differently. The drivers of stakeholders’ overall evaluations of a company’s reputation vary by stakeholder segment. Stakeholder groups are seen to display the characteristics of segments.

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