290 results for Masters, Share

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

    Ngugi, Catherine Njeri (2013)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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

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

    Berg, Brian (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

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

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

    Chittenden, Rosemary (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

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

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

    Carson, Georgia (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

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

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

    Edmonds, David (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

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

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  • Touchable: Adapting a Haptic Feedback Glove for Use in Rehabilitation Contexts

    Foottit, Jacques

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    With the increasing miniaturisation of computing and sensor technology, it is becoming common for electronics of all kinds to be integrated into clothing and other wearable items. Motion sensing technologies in particular have been used for a variety of consumer fitness and virtual reality applications for able-bodied people. This research explores the potential for affordable motion capture and haptic feedback technologies to be utilised in a rehabilitation context, with a specific focus on the hand. An iterative development process was used to adapt and improve an existing prototype haptic feedback glove in response to the unique challenges facing wearable device users in a rehabilitation context. Collaboration with physiotherapists provided valuable feedback throughout the design process. The result is a significantly different prototype device with major design improvements, and insights into how iterative development processes can be utilised for hardware development.

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  • Satire and Dickens

    White, Richard (1997)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    People have a fundamental need to feel good about themselves, and sometimes we can achieve this at the expense of others. If I can laugh at someone who does something stupid, or feel superior to someone who does something unjust, or rebel against an institution which violates some natural law, then so much the better for me. Essentially, this is why I read satire. Until recently this sort of approach does not seem to have appealed to literary critics - perhaps because it demeans their subject matter - but there are many essential human needs which are satisfied by a reader's imaginative response to satire, and there is nothing ignoble in that. Satire allows us to escape the constrictions that society places on us. When we read satire we can behave badly: we laugh at other people, cackle at their stupidity, and snigger at their pomposity or hypocrisy; we revenge ourselves upon people who have bored, annoyed, or cheated us. All of this misbehaviour is sanctioned by moral propriety, and by the figure who establishes what is proper and what is not, the satirist. It is the satirist who sets up little moral victories for us, made possible by satiric attack. However, when satire becomes part of a novel, it must there vie for ascendancy with other guises of the author. The satirist must compete with the moralist, the comic, or the sentimentalist, and when this happens the reader too must evaluate their satiric victories alongside the other emotions they feel when they read other parts of a novel. Charles Dickens has many such guises, and consequently he particularly challenges the reader to cope with many different responses. This is where satire becomes even more interesting, because the victories are tempered by other, perhaps more noble emotions. The novels of Dickens present the reader with a constant battle between good and bad: both the author's and the reader's.

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  • Ideological choice in the gravestones of Dunedin's Southern Cemetery

    Edgar, Philip Gerard (1995)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    xxv, 136 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Anthropology. "December 1995."

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  • How does the concept of cultural competence affect the practice of bioethics and health law

    Gray, Ben (2014-05-17)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Cultural Competence is one of the competencies required of all Health Practitioners in New Zealand since the enacting of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act in 2003. This dissertation examines what relationship there is between this concept and Bioethics and Health Law. The dissertation argues that the need for the concept of Cultural Competence comes from the failure of the Bioethics community to adequately address the fundamental ethical issue that non-dominant cultural groups frequently receive inferior care, and have significantly worse health outcomes, than people who are part of the dominant cultural group. The definition of Cultural Competence is not agreed upon in the literature so I have examined the policies of the sixteen Health Practitioner Registration Authorities in New Zealand to develop a New Zealand definition to work from. The most important triggers for the development of Cultural Competence were the fact that there were significant health outcome disparities affecting non-dominant cultural groups, and people from non-dominant cultural groups do not receive care that is cognisant of their values, beliefs and ways of living. Cultural Competence is particularly important in New Zealand because we have an increasingly diverse community and there are significant health outcome disparities, some of which are caused by inequitable access to healthcare services. Practising in a culturally competent way is important for non-dominant cultural groups, but also for many people within the dominant cultural group. This is because of the cultural distance between many people and their health care providers, where the explanatory model of clinician and patient are not congruent. An important indicator of this is the level of non-compliance of patients with investigation and treatments recommended by their clinicians. Most bioethics problems are complex, and if complexity science is applied to them it becomes clear that bioethical judgements are based on an uncertain factual base, change with time and need to be made by the people involved in the problem. The concept of frame of reference is usefully applied to bioethics problems, understanding that every person will approach a problem from a different (sometimes slightly different, sometimes significantly different) frame of reference. An understanding of the frame of reference of all parties involved in a problem is essential to good decision making. I will argue that both Cultural Relativism and Moral Objectivism are inadequate positions to deal with a multicultural society and develop a concept of Complex Principlism as a framework for analysing bioethical problems. Bioethics is a relational activity and it is essential to focus on maintaining a functional relationship with all involved in the problem and understanding how to establish and maintain trust and utilise fair process, rather than just focussing on analysing what you as an individual believe is the right answer to the problem. We live in a multicultural society but do not value multiculturalism, although New Zealand does value biculturalism between Maori and the dominant cultural group. There is strong evidence in favour of putting the valuing of multiculturalism at the centre of our governance. This would contribute significantly to improving health outcome disparities and is an essential strategy to learn how to live successfully in the modern world.

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  • The Old Testament as Christian scripture: three Catholic perspectives

    Stachurski, Michael R (1998)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Format: viii, 114 leaves ; 30 cm.

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  • The Changing Language Learning Motivations of Learners from Mainland China Studying English in New Zealand

    Bowen, Sarah (2008-04-10)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This study investigates the motivations to learn English of Chinese second language students studying in New Zealand. It also examines their views of the New Zealand language learning (LL) environment and explores the influence of Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) and educational background on these views. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and essays from two male and two female students at three points during their first six months of study in New Zealand. The main findings about motivation are: they had both instrumental and integrative motivations for learning English; the instrumental and integrative paradigms were inadequate for describing the motives that they exhibited; these motives changed over time; culture played an important role in shaping motivation; environmental prejudice had a negative impact on motivation. It is concluded that previous process models of motivation are inadequate to account for the variety of motivations and motivational influences described by participants. The main findings about the New Zealand LL environment are: they had both positive and negative views of the New Zealand LL environment; their views tended to become more positive as they saw the utility of this environment in supporting their learning goals. Qualitative data of this kind could be complemented by classroom observations. Implications for teachers, theorists, and New Zealand schools are discussed in the conclusion.

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  • The Brain of Melchizedek: a Cognitive Neuroscience Approach to Spirituality

    Davis, Jeffery Jonathan Joshua (2009-03-30)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    A new paradigm for the study of consciousness and spirituality.

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  • Path to Accessibility: The current state of disability access in Aotearoa New Zealand museums

    King-Wall, Riah (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The New Museology posits museums and galleries as institutions entwined with issues of social justice and political responsibility. The relationship between museums and their communities is the founding aspect of this theoretical and practical framework. ‘Path to Accessibility’ explores the ways museums and galleries around Aotearoa New Zealand are engaging with communities of people with disabilities, consulting both with representatives from the disability sector and cultural organisations from around the country. This dissertation addresses a current gap in the literature available on how New Zealand museums are adapting to the needs of these audiences; a shift that is necessary given one in four New Zealanders identifies as having lived experience of disability. It also forges a valuable contribution to the field of museum studies by drawing on theory such as audience development and visitor research, and utilising emancipatory research frameworks from disability studies, as well as conducting original research on an under-examined topic. The research comprised a multi-method approach to ensure credibility. Focus group and interview stages collected the experiences and viewpoints of existing museum visitors with disabilities. This provided a foundation on which to create a nationwide survey of 41 museums and galleries. The survey explored multiple aspects of disability access, including physical ingress, inclusive exhibition design, tailored public programming, digital accessibility, and levels of disability representation in staff and management positions. The findings of this research project reveal that museums and galleries in Aotearoa New Zealand are for the most part considering disability access in some way. However, actioning related initiatives is often limited to achieving minimum legislative requirements rather than approaching it comprehensively as part of wider audience development strategies. The analysis of data gathered puts forward a number of suggestions around improving practice in New Zealand museums, central to which is establishing relationships with communities of people with disabilities and their advocacy groups to ensure long-term sustainability. These recommendations have global applicability for museum practice as comparative overseas studies demonstrate strong similarities to the New Zealand context.

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  • Retrofitting Memory: Retrofitting a Non-Physical Architecture

    Low, Soon Yie (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This project looks at how destroyed architecture, although physically lost, fundamentally continues to exist within human memories as a non-physical entity. The site chosen is Avonside Girls’ High School in Christchurch, New Zealand, a school heavily damaged during the February 22nd earthquake in 2011. The project focuses on the Main Block, a 1930s masonry building which had always been a symbol for the school and its alumni. The key theories relevant to this are studies on non-material architecture and memory as these subjects investigate the relationship between conceptual idea and the triggering of it. This research aims to study how to fortify a thought-based architecture against neglect, similar to the retrofitting of physical structures. In doing so, the importance of the emotive realm of architecture and the idea behind a building (as opposed to the built component itself) is further validated, promoting more broadminded stances regarding the significance of the idea over the object. A new method for disaster recovery and addressing trauma from lost architecture is also acquired. Factors regarding advanced structural systems and programmes are not covered within the scope of this research because the project instead explores issues regarding the boundaries between the immaterial and material. The project methodology involves communicating a narrative derived from the memories alumni and staff members have of the old school block. The approach for portraying the narrative is based on a list of strategies obtained from case studies. The final product of the research is a new design for the high school, conveyed through a set of atmospheric drawings that cross-examines the boundaries between the physical and non-physical realms by representing the version of the school that exists solely within memories.

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  • How does a music therapy student work to facilitate reminiscence and memory in dementia patients

    Sun, I-Chen (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This study was prompted in response to increased interest in, and demand for, music therapy provision in improving quality of care for dementia patients. It is an exploration of the strategies to facilitate memory and reminiscence in persons with dementia, and considers the need for those preparing for end of life to recall identities, connect with family and others, and express feelings. This research is a qualitative study involving secondary analysis of clinical data from my clinical practice and identifies the strategies, techniques and procedures that I applied in my clinical work to stimulate preserved memory ‘islands’. The findings show that familiarity is central in enabling a remembering process, and music can have unique ways of accessing memory in people with limited cognitive and social abilities. Eight core categories of music therapy strategies were found to be helpful in enabling memory and reminiscence. This study includes examples of both individual and group music therapy. The objective of this study was to examine my music therapy practice, and potentially provide some beneficial ideas and insights to other music therapists working on memory and reminiscence with dementia patients.

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  • Architecture as a Catalyst for Activity

    Tungatt, Rory (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Many of New Zealand’s smaller town centres struggle to remain viable. A common issue for these declining public realms is the hollowing out of their city centres. Numerous factors may contribute to this problem. Issues such as a lack of access, connectivity and identity within the urban fabric, or instances of privatisation, where forums that were once public have now shifted to a digital interface. One of the challenges facing cities is the diminishing number of “civic” buildings and activity located in the town centre. The Indoor Community Sports Centre (ICSC) offers a partial remedy for this problem. Even with the merging and downsizing of Council’s and their funding, Territorial Authorities continue to invest in ICSCs. This thesis investigates whether these buildings can make a positive contribution to the public domain of town centres. New Zealand ICSC’s, more often than not, are simple shed-like buildings on the periphery of cities or town centres, predominantly occupying or adjacent to large park areas, sports fields or schools. This thesis examines whether the building type can be adapted to become an “urban” building, where it will have the opportunity contribute to a revitalised town centre. A design case study based on Upper Hutt identifies three key design criteria established from initial research of Sports Centres and best-practice Urban Design. These three criteria – breaking up mass, active edges from the outside and creating a dynamic connection – allow the ICSC to become part of the civic realm. The research concludes that an ICSC can be successfully integrated into an “urban” context. In the Upper Hutt case study, success depends on two broader design strategies. First, the ICSC should be located in an area where walkability, functionality and visual and physical connectivity will benefit the public domain. Second, the ICSC should be part of a mixed-use development, which exploits the building type’s inherent flexibility. This is achieved through combining a transport hub, another essential civic amenity, as well as other commercial programmes that provide occupancy during periods of disuse. The thesis shows how a carefully adapted ICSC can turn a somewhat disconnected, hollowed out town into a functional, integrated and walkable one. The redesigned facility does so by linking existing amenities, feeding city-fringe activity back into the city centre and projecting a consciousness of place.

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  • Data for Surf's Sake - Illustrating a subculture through interactive data visualisation and action sports trackers

    Everitt, Matthew (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Over the last two years action sports trackers have emerged for those seeking thrills in risk-taking sports (Mitchell, 2014). The data generated by these trackers is creating digitised representations of communities participating in action sports such as surfing. The surfing database comprises of activity all over the globe, and due to its size and complexity it can be categorised as big data. Understanding this complex database requires specific data visualisation methods which visually map relationships and patterns. This research asked: can an interactive data visualisation illustrate hierarchical, nomadic, and experiential aspects of the surfing subculture? This thesis is based on ethnographic research which focuses on exploring qualitative visualisations of the quantitative databases generated by action sports trackers for surfing. The research focused on the design of data visualisations which explored contemporary methods and principles of data visualisation and their applicability to communicate aspects of the surfing subculture. This manifested in the design of an interactive web application, Gone Surfing, which focused on global, local, and personal views which communicate Stranger’s (2011) substructure model of the surfing subculture. The hierarchical, nomadic, and experiential aspects of the surfing subculture are only known from long term immersion in the subculture itself. This design made these aspects explicit through the visualisation of the database. For example, pilgrimage’s to revered surfing locations and hierarchy within local communities, and a surfer’s relationship with the waves are forms of implicit knowledge which were made explicit. The final creative output, Gone Surfing, visualises these aspects in an interactive web application consisting of global, local, and personal views to each communicate an aspect effectively. The interactive visualisation allows non-surfers to explore the subculture while enhancing a surfer’s understanding of their position within the surfing nation.

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  • Communicating a Culture of Peace in Aotearoa New Zealand: The vision of Peace through Unity

    Paterson, Meredith (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Narrative politics reframes how we cultivate knowledge in the academy, foregrounding the voices of research subjects and their relationships with researchers to re-embed scholars in the social world. Narrative affects the reader’s emotional capacities and fosters empathic understanding, encouraging a more human engagement with figures that have been made threatening, as Elizabeth Dauphinée explores in The Politics of Exile and Richard Jackson in Confessions of a Terrorist. Narrative politics is concerned with the question of how academics respond to the violence of war and whether the analytical tools of the social sciences are an adequate response to the human horror of war. The narratives of peace people are particularly compelling in the way they challenge the assertions of the dominant culture of wider society and the discipline of IR. Aotearoa New Zealand has a rich history of grassroots peace movements and activities that have influenced wider society. However, their stories are not well recorded in the dominant narrative of state institutions or academia. Peace Activist Elsie Locke published Peace People, a broad historical survey of peace activism from pre-European Maori to 1975. Maire Leadbeater brings the account up to 2013 in Peace, Power and Politics. All accounts emphasise that ordinary people were at the heart of activities, organisations and movements for peace. One of these ‘ordinary’ people left out of Locke and Leadbeater’s accounts is Gita Brooke, co-founder of the Whanganui-based charitable trust, Peace through Unity [PTU]. As a self-identified ‘peace person,’ Brooke has written much about their work and been involved in peace activities in Aotearoa NZ since the 1980s. Narrative politics provides a lens in IR to explore the story of Gita Brooke as co-founder of PTU. I show the contribution PTU has made and continues to make to a culture of peace in Aotearoa New Zealand and as a worldwide network, explored through the themes of education for global citizenship, transformation through thought-work, and responsibility for local action. It examines how PTU’s vision of a culture of peace has been communicated through the organisation’s newsletter, Many to Many, through its involvement with the United Nations as an accredited NGO, and through its local activities. Using archival sources, data from interviews and a content analysis of the newsletter, and complemented by the lens of and insights from the discourse of narrative politics, this study suggests that PTU provides a space for critical self-reflection in the pursuit of peace that challenges the thought/action binary of institutionalised NGOs. The deterritorialised publication, Many to Many, connects peace people through a networked area of mutual agreement that is inclusive, educative and transformative.

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  • Costing the cold: Connecting fuel poverty & supplier switching in Wellington, New Zealand

    McLean, Sam (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Fuel poverty describes the inability of households to afford adequate energy services, such as space heating. In New Zealand, where 25% of households are estimated to be ‘fuel poor’, high electricity prices in a restructured electricity market have an important influence on fuel poverty. However, the ability of the New Zealand Government to regulate these high electricity prices is constrained. Consequently, there is a strong reliance on consumers to switch energy suppliers, which promotes competitive prices and in turn regulates the price of electricity. In contrast to energy efficiency improvements, switching offers fuel poor households a low-cost opportunity to improve the short-term affordability of energy services. Yet, switching is suggested to not benefit fuel poor households who are in most need of affordable energy. This thesis explored the relationship between fuel poverty and supplier switching in Wellington, New Zealand through a geographic lens. First, a new approach to identifying fuel poverty in New Zealand was applied. Using geographic information systems (GIS), a fuel poverty index was calculated to identify fuel poverty in Wellington at meshblock level. Spatial analysis of the index revealed the complexity of identifying fuel poverty and the extent to which the spatial distribution of fuel poverty in Wellington is shaped by the city’s colonial history. The index was then used to identify survey participants through which a survey was conducted exploring Wellington households’ switching behaviours. In a competitive market, consumers are expected to switch according to economically rational behaviours. However, switching behaviours in the survey sample were influenced by factors other than these economically rational behaviours. Integrating the findings of this thesis supports suggestions that switching is not benefiting the fuel poor. Finally, this thesis sheds light on the extent to which an understanding of the geography of fuel poverty can be applied towards improving the effectiveness of policy and equitable outcomes for fuel poor households.

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  • See you on Wall St. Sept 17. Bring Tent: Occupy Wall Street, Framing, and Mobilisation

    Bigwood, Sam (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The phenomenon of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has been widely discussed in the academic and popular discourse. Of its many contributions, the language of the Occupy Movement has had a profound influence on contemporary discussions about inequality – contrasting the ‘99%’ with the ‘1%’ is now a permanent part of the conversation. However, despite this discursive shift, the literature has yet to seriously consider how the ideational elements of OWS influenced its mobilisation. While changing the dominant discourse is an important achievement, mobilising collective action around a cause remains an essential task for social movements. To explain social movement mobilisation, this thesis utilises the framing perspective, which seeks to understand why and how certain ideas are able to inspire or inhibit collective action. By using qualitative analysis of movement texts over time, this thesis has constructed the key frames articulated in selected OWS documents over the course of its serious efforts to mobilise. More specifically, it has examined whether changes in the movement’s use of diagnostic, prognostic, motivational, and identity frames can explain the trajectory of mobilisation. The central argument is that the framing perspective can offer a plausible explanation for the mobilisation of OWS; a correlation between changes in framing and expected changes in mobilisation can be observed. However, while the findings of this thesis fill one important part of the puzzle, in order to corroborate the arguments put forward here future research must consider the way the frames proffered by OWS were actually received and acted (or not acted) upon by potential participants. By doing so, we can not only gain a more perceptive insight into this topical phenomenon, but also improve our understanding of the nature and dynamics of contemporary social movements.

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