1,475 results for Masters, 2012

  • Cataclastic Processes within the Alpine Fault Zone

    Scott, Hannah Rosaline (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Interloan of Geology theses must first be approved by the Geology Department.

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  • The applicability of 'voice of the customer' tools to an indigenous organisation in a developing country : a thesis submitted to Massey University in partial fulfilment for the degree of Masters in Philosophy (Quality Systems), Massey University of Manawatu, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Lewis, Janice Ann (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    The value and applicability of western management theories and practices to the developing world is rarely discussed within the current rush to globalise the world economies, capture untapped wealth and seek to establish businesses within indigenous societies. This is especially relevant to the use of Voice of the Customer (VOC) methods and tools when applied to indigenous peoples and service organisations, where customer information is used to design or improve services. There has been limited concentration and much debate as to whether VOC tools are as effective as anticipated, and can solve the unique problems that appear when used in unfamiliar diverse cultures in developing countries. A risk when using a particular method or management technique is the desire and expectation that it will be transferable for use in similar businesses in other countries. Service quality is reliant on what the customer feels and often cannot be measured easily. This can be compounded in a developing nation scenario, by the fact that methods are usually developed, implemented, interpreted and validated through a western ‘lens’. Armstrong and Pont et al (2011, page 6 -7) describe these issues succinctly when they state… ‘a survey of the leading academic journals suggest that well over 90% of the articles published are concerned with establishing basic causality behind certain phenomena. Very few studies investigate whether a certain method used by management is effective or not …. as practitioners we are more interested in what works than the intricacies of causality’. This research specifically explored the use of VOC tools in the Bougainville Village Court (VC) to identify service elements customers considered important to the functioning of the VC in their village communities. Tools that were used included quantitative measurement tools - a combined Garvin–SERVQUAL tool, the RATER model, and Quality Function Deployment (QFD) principles, and the more qualitative New Zealand Business Excellence Criteria (NZBEC). The research demonstrated that the quantitative VOC methods used did not fully fit, or account for some service elements important to the customer in this particular context, where societal trust and continuous contact are important service elements. The methods used were thus, unable to completely capture the full humanistic elements and contributing causal factors. In this research study cultural context in the form of history, environment, tradition, community relationships and structures, played a vital role in determining what the customer considered were important service elements. It was found that these elements were more easily captured through use of the more qualitative NZBEC as it enabled collection of more diverse perspectives through its open question structure. Generic VOC ‘western developed’ quantitative tools did gather VOC information. However, they were only effective after adaptation to each VC location and after cultural input. Cultural analysis from indigenous people to interpret the data is recommended as a prerequisite and standard part of VOC methodology in a developing country scenario. This research suggests assessment and analysis based solely on ‘western’ VOC methods and statistics will not capture the VOC fully and could lead to misinterpretation or fail to acknowledge the real voice of the customer and the causal and contextual factors contributing to customer responses.

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  • Co-therapy in a group setting : benefits and challenges in facilitating co-therapy music therapy in a small group setting : exegesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Music Therapy, New Zealand School of Music

    Katz, Yair (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This study provides my findings on the issue of co-therapy in music therapy practice with children and young adults, based on my personal experience in placement during my final year as a student practitioner for music therapy. The study discusses co-therapy from the point of view that, like any other example of team work, co-therapy has advantages and benefits, as well as disadvantages, difficulties and challenges. The study looks at the practice of co-therapy in detail, to reach conclusions about those benefits and challenges. It uses examples of co-therapy with small groups of clients with a range of different needs, to provide a wide picture of how co-therapy could be used effectively in music therapy, but also to discuss the issues that occurred when co-facilitating. The results of the analysis are presented in the findings section and discussed in the subsequent section. It is important to note that these results, as in other qualitative research studies, are based on personal interpretations and should not be viewed as facts. They can, however, serve as recommendations and points for consideration for students, new and experienced practitioners who might consider co-therapy as a practice.

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  • Exclusive breastfeeding : mothers' awareness and healthcare providers' practices during antenatal visits in Mvomero, Tanzania : a thesis presented for the partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Human Nutrition at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

    Mbwana, Hadijah Ally (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Chronic child malnutrition is high in developing countries such as Tanzania where approximately 42% of children below five years are stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition. Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) may give the best start as an effective strategy to protect infants from malnutrition which causes 60% of infant deaths worldwide. Therefore, intentions to breastfeed, feeding practices decided and antenatal visits give a prime opportunity to provide counselling to ensure optimal practices. The aim of this study was to assess the awareness of exclusive breastfeeding among first time pregnant women attending antenatal clinics and breastfeeding counselling practices of healthcare providers in comparison with the WHO recommendations. A cross sectional study of eighty first time pregnant women attending antenatal clinics at Mzumbe Health Centre which is located in a town near main roads and Tangeni dispensary which is located in a remote area far from the main roads, and six out of eight nurses providing antenatal care in these facilities was carried out. Questionnaires were used to evaluate women’s breastfeeding knowledge and future intentions to breastfeed and nurses’ breastfeeding knowledge and counselling practices. About 94% of women intended to breastfeed, among these, only 23.8% intended to do so exclusively for six months. Women’s knowledge in EBF was generally limited; about 94% of women had never received breastfeeding counselling at the antenatal clinic, 61% received BF information from their mothers, grandmothers and mothers-in-law, 37.5% said glucose water should be given immediately after delivery. Common reasons for introducing solids were; baby will be old enough (55%), baby will be hungry (32.5%), advised by the nurse (7.5%). There were no differences in breastfeeding knowledge between the two facilities, that is being located near the main roads did not change or influence women’s knowledge in breastfeeding. Nurses had satisfactory knowledge of how to solve breastfeeding problems and breastfeeding in special situations. Much of this knowledge appeared to be based on personal and clinical experience as only nurse had received training in breastfeeding. However, nurses’ knowledge on WHO breastfeeding recommendations was limited. Only three nurses said they train mothers about exclusive breastfeeding and it is only these three who knew the recommended age for introduction of solid foods. Three nurses said they would recommend exclusive breastfeeding until four months and only two nurses were able to identify the correct picture of latching on and attachment of the baby to the breast. Generally pregnant women and the nurses had limited knowledge in EBF matters. Although the antenatal visits provide an excellent opportunity to ensure that pregnant women are aware of optimal breastfeeding practices, the nurses who provide care during these visits had limited knowledge on the recommendations. Findings highlight a need to focus on information and education to women and nurses.

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  • Kua tae kē tatou? : Tikanga ā rua i roto i ngā kura auraki o Āotearoa = Are we there yet? Biculturalism in New Zealand mainstream schools : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education (Adult Education) at Massey University

    Snowden, Mary Jennifer (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    The rationale for conducting this research is embedded in the articles of The Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tīrītī o Waitangi 2.3), the cornerstone of the partnership between Māori and Pākehā. Te Tīrītī promotes research set in a peculiarly Āotearoa New Zealand context where biculturalism is seen as promoting a dignified, respectful coexistence of Māori and Pākehā in which both languages cultures and ways of life are acknowledged and valued (Vasil, 2000). In the context of this work the word biculturalism concerns the cultural being of Māori and Pākehā alike. Though the word biculturalism appears in the New ZeaIand Curriculum, the works explored in the process of undertaking this research did not name biculturalism as existing in New Zealand schools, hence the paucity of up-to-date references. Using aspects of Kaupapa Māori (Smith, 1997) as the research method the research aimed to develop a better understanding around the implementation of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori to promote biculturalism in Āotearoa New Zealand mainstream schools today. The historical context that foregrounds biculturalism and the educational policy that influenced the growth and development of biculturalism were also taken into account. In endeavouring to understand and define the shape and form of biculturalism a small group of teachers (Te Whānau Rangahau) agreed to share their ideas around the tensions, successes, enablers and challenges involved in ‘creating a space’ for the implementation of te Māori (Māori language) and tikanga Māori (Māori culture and values) to nurture and assist biculturalism. Keeping within the framework of Kaupapa Māori the kairangahau (researcher) felt ‘kanohi ki te kanohi’ (face to face discussion) was both relevant and appropriate. The use of focussed conversations and individual interviews provided a unique opportunity to identify key influences on teacher willingness to engage in discourse around biculturalism. An opportunity to determine essential elements that need to be present to allow biculturalism to be nurtured through to fruition was also captured. This thesis found that the perception of including te reo Māori and tikanga Māori in Āotearoa New Zealand mainstream schools to encourage true biculturalism continues to be complicated and worked through institutional and social practices. These create, maintain and perpetuate a dominant ideology that maintains a monolingual, monocultural Pākehā curriculum.

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  • The use of thermal nociceptive threshold testing to assess the effect of analgesic drugs on the pain response of dairy cattle : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Veterinary Science in Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Barrett, Lorelle Anne (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Painful procedures are routinely performed on cattle and the use of analgesia can abate this pain. Thermal nociceptive threshold (TNT) testing is used to assess pain sensitivity and the effect that painful conditions and analgesia have on this. However, little work has used TNT testing in cattle for these purposes. This research was carried out to determine if TNT testing could be used to assess the effects of analgesic drugs in both pain-free cattle and those that had undergone liver biopsy. A carbon dioxide laser was used as the noxious thermal stimulus. In the first experiment, the effects of an alpha2-adrenoreceptor agonist (medetomidine) and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (ketoprofen) were compared with the effect of saline on TNTs of pain-free cattle. TNTs were measured 20 minutes before treatments were administered, then again at 20, 40 and 60 minutes after treatment. Medetomidine significantly increased the cows’ TNT at 60 minutes post-treatment. This increased TNT may be due to the central analgesic properties of the drug. Ketoprofen had no effect on TNTs. In the second experiment, TNTs were measured to determine if different analgesic protocols moderated central sensitisation that may have occurred after liver biopsy. Behavioural observations were also used to assess pain in the post-biopsy period. Cows were assigned into one of four groups: control (local anaesthetic (LA) + sham-biopsy); LA + biopsy; LA + ketoprofen + biopsy; LA + meloxicam + biopsy. TNTs were measured 1 day before liver biopsy was performed, and once daily on the 3 days post-biopsy. Behavioural observations were made in the 4 hours after biopsy and on the 3 days post-biopsy. TNTs of biopsied cows did not differ from sham-biopsy cows. This may be because liver biopsy did not induce central sensitisation, or because the TNT method used did not reflect localised hyperalgesia. Behaviour also did not differ between treatment groups. These findings suggest that liver biopsy as it was performed here does not induce significant pain in cattle. It is concluded that TNT testing may be useful to investigate the effects of some analgesics on the acute pain response of pain-free cattle, but it has not been useful in demonstrating central sensitisation after liver biopsy. Further development and refinement of the methodology is required in order for this technique to be of future use for similar research in cattle.

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  • The investigation of Parenteral Nutrition - Aotearoa (IPNA) : setting up the 1st phase of a clinical audit of the delivery of parenteral nutrition (PN) in New Zealand (NZ) : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Larsen, Sue (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Nutrition support administered as Parenteral Nutrition (PN) is given to patients that have a non-functioning gut. Parenteral nutrition is the administration of nutrients and fluids into the venous system and is potentially associated with life-threatening complications. It is therefore essential that the care and management of PN is co-ordinated by clinicians that have the specialist knowledge and expertise to ensure it is given safely and appropriately. This is a Phase one regional pilot study which aims to examine the current standard of PN care in hospitals in New Zealand using a clinical audit process. A secondary aim is to identify if any remediable factors are found in the care of patients receiving PN which can then be used to improve patient care, focussing on the following themes: • Indication for PN • Type of PN • Prescribing PN • Catheter choice, insertion and care • PN associated complications • Nutrition teams Six local hospitals from four large district health boards covering a population of 1.64 million were enrolled. Included were adult, paediatric (<1yr) patients receiving PN in hospital during the period of Jan 1st to June 31st 2011. Patients receiving PN in the home were excluded, even if they were admitted into hospital within the study period. iv 620 cases of PN use (288 adult, 68 paediatric, 264 neonates) were identified within the study period. 151 cases (70 adult, 17 paediatric, 64 neonates) were purposely selected for expert peer review. There were, 66 adults (94%), 7 paediatric (41%), 49 neonates (76%) questionnaires returned, of these, de-Identified clinical records were also available for 100% of the adult and 41% of the neonate cases for expert review. Data for 66 adults (34 male: 32 female) were returned and peer reviewed by advisor assessors however only 65 completed advisor assessor questionnaires were returned. The results of the adult cases examined showed that only 12.7% of cases were deemed to involve Good Practice- defined as the standard for which advisors would consider being acceptable and in accordance to the recommended guidelines. Sixty five per cent of cases demonstrated that there was room for improvement in the care provided. Nineteen per cent of cases examined were considered to be of a less than satisfactory standard. A limitation of this study included lack of sufficient paediatric/neonate experts available for peer review.

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  • Improving soluble chemical oxygen demand yields for anaerobic digester feedstock using leaching : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, School of Advanced Technology and Engineering, College of Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. EMBARGED until 25 February 2018

    Ralphs, John (2012)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Waste biomass is often a liability to many municipalities. Technologies exist that can turn this biomass into energy which can then be sold. Anaerobic digestion is one of the important technologies that utilises this biomass to turn it into biogas. One of the factors that affects the rate that biogas can be produced is the speed that suitable organic compounds can be delivered to methanogenic microorganisms. These organic compounds such as sugars and amino acids are released from plant material at different rates depending on their availability. A portion of the compounds are readily soluble in water and are immediately available, some of the compounds are locked up inside the plant cells and some of the compounds such as cellulose are not soluble and need to be hydrolysed into sugars before they can be converted into methane. Hydrolysis is usually the rate limiting step in anaerobic digestion. Leaching of green waste was investigated as a form of pre-treatment to externalise the initial stages in anaerobic digestion that makes soluble organic compounds available for the consecutive mthanogenic stages of anaerobic digestion. The added benefit of leaching is it removes the complexity of solids handling from inside anaerobic digester. Many various forms of leaching technologies that are coupled to anaerobic digesters have been trialled with grass and silage, little research was found on leaching green waste and few trials had used the simplified unheated flooded tank system as tested here. Pilot and laboratory leaching trials were conducted on shredded green waste as well as grass clippings to establish the efficiency of leaching by measuring the COD yields in the leachate. Additionally, rumen contents from cattle rumen were added to grass clippings in order to investigate if the leaching efficiency from the grass could be improved. Leaching was tested at a pilot scale in an open to the air reactor tank in ambient temperature in a temperate climate. Hydraulic retention times ranging from 4 hours to 7 days were tested to establish the most effective leaching strategy. The laboratory trials were conducted with the temperature controlled at 25°C to simulate ambient environmental conditions in a temperate climate. The effect of storing feedstock was tested to see how changes in handling times affected the process. Gas production from the leachate was tested using 2 L CSTR (Continuously Stirred Tank Reactor) anaerobic digesters to confirm the usability of the leachate as a feedstock in an anaerobic digester. Pilot scale trials of shredded green waste and grass clippings gave maximum COD concentrations of 5.4 ± 0.5 and 47±4 g COD / L of leachate respectively. Pilot trials of shredded green waste and grass leachate reached a maximum total COD yields of 53 ± 2 and 410 ± 20 kg COD / tonne VS respectively. Laboratory scale trials of shredded green waste and grass clippings gave maximum COD concentrations of 7.0 ± 0.1 and 49 ± 2 g COD / L of leachate respectively. Laboratory trials of shredded green waste and grass leachate reached a maximum total COD yields of 132 ± 8 and 410 ± 20 kg COD / tonne VS respectively. Laboratory trials are indicative of how pilot trials will behave and differences are likely to be due to an increased bulk density in solids in pilot trials. Shredded green waste and grass leachate gave maximum 3.7 and 7.8 g BOD / L respectively. Nutrients in the leachate were tested: nitrogen levels in shredded green waste and grass leachate reached maximum levels of 51 and 460 mg / L respectively; DRP (Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus) levels in the shredded green waste and grass leachate reached maximum levels of 6 and 85 mg / L respectively. The leaching tanks produced gas while leaching was taking place; a sample of this gas was captured and the levels of CH4, CO2 and H2 were measured as 0%, 25.5% and 5.0% respectively. Gas production from anaerobic digestion of shredded green waste and grass in a CSTR at 35°C produced 0.23 ± 0.01 and 0.534 ± 0.005 m3 biogas / kg COD respectively. Use of grass that is fresh gives much higher yields of dissolved organic compounds in the leachate than when the grass is stored in covered area for 30 days. Leaching grass with an HRT (Hydraulic Retention Time) of 1 day gave optimal results in terms of concentration and yields of dissolved organic compounds in the leachate compared to leaching trials with an HRT of 4 hours or 7 days. Green waste gave much lower concentration and yields of COD than grass and an HRT of 7 days was the most suitable for gaining the best concentration and yield of dissolved organic compounds compared to a 4 hour or 1 day HRT. The overall mass transfer of organic compounds when leaching freshly shredded green waste is most likely limited by a combination of hydrolysis and the rate that soluble compounds are released from within plant cells as the cell membranes degrade. In trials of fresh and stored grass and stored shredded green waste, shortening the HRT increases the total yield of dissolved organic compounds leached into the leachate; however, this is at the expense of increased concentrations of dissolved organic compounds within the leachate. The lower leachate concentrations with the shorter HRTs means that the leachate is less suitable to uses as a feedstock for an anaerobic digester. Anaerobic digestion of grass leachate produced much more biogas / kg COD than anaerobic digestion of shredded green waste leachate, this may be a result of an inhibiting compounds such as tannins, additionally to this the material that the shredded green waste is composed of will have higher levels of lignocellulose materials that are not readily soluble. The leachate was found not to degrade when stored at 25°C in an open top container, this maybe a result of low pH inhibiting degrading micro-organisms, this has significant benefit as the leaching process can be separated from the anaerobic digestion process without degrading the quality of the leachate while it is being stored.

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  • Media Representations of Crime: the Case of International Tourists in New Zealand

    Morales Garcia, Hebe Alejandra (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Pagination differs in bound and electronic versions

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  • Perianal Crohn's Disease in Canterbury, New Zealand

    Eglinton, Timothy Wilfred (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    No Abstract

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  • Taxonomic Delimitation Within New Zealand Lobelioideae

    Gray, Abe (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The purpose of this study was to re-examine the morphological characters of native New Zealand Lobelioideae, and to use those characters, in concert with existing genetic data, to help inform a global effort at constructing a more natural classification of all Lobelioideae. The history of Lobelioid discovery and classification is presented, with a focus on the New Zealand taxa and the historic concept of delimitation of genera within the subfamily. The problems with the most recent taxonomic arrangements of the New Zealand species is discussed in light of field identification problems and new genetic data. Plants of almost all New Zealand species were located and observed both in the field and in cultivation. A factorial experiment testing the range of morphological plasticity for several of the species under different water and light conditions was conducted and results confirmed historical reports of increased morphological similarity between some species under certain conditions. Floral and fruit characteristics of all available species were microscopically examined for fine scale morphological differences to confirm historical reports and resolve disputes about true character states. A pollination experiment was conducted in an attempt to establish the degree of genetic difference between the species. Limited results were obtained as the experiment was compromised by a confluence of factors. However, two putative hybrids between Lobelia fatiscens and Lobelia ionantha have been successfully generated and maintained in cultivation. In conclusion, temporary transfer of all New Zealand species to the genus Lobelia is supported and key information gaps are identified that must be filled for future investigators to move forward in delimiting new genera within the sub-Family. The difference between fleshy and capsular fruits within this species group is discussed and the character state is clarified for all species. Finally it is suggested that certain clades within the new molecular phylogeny may be appropriately treated as genera pending the outcomes of additional suggested investigations.

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  • Talking about 1080: risk, trust and protecting our place

    Bidwell, Susan Roberton (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The use of 1080 for pest control by the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the Animal Health Board (AHB) is officially considered the only viable means of preventing environmental damage from possums and protecting farming from the spread of bovine tuberculosis in the West Coast region. Although 1080 has been used for decades in New Zealand, opposition to its use has intensified in recent years, particularly to aerial 1080. The public discourse revolves around the magnitude and likelihood of risks to the environment and human health, within a wider societal climate where the importance of avoiding such risks is taken for granted. Public health staff in the region spend significant time investigating complaints about misapplied 1080 baits and discussing health concerns. To date, however, there has been little formal investigation of community attitudes and reasons for the opposition to 1080. This study sought to discover how different sectors of the community perceived 1080, and how they explained why they held those views. In-depth interviews were held with twelve key informants recruited from organisations and groups that were already publicly identified as supporting or opposing 1080. Data from the interviews were analysed thematically within a framework of contemporary socio-cultural risk theory. The analysis showed that opinions on risk were nuanced and individualised, ranging from total opposition to total support with many positions in between, rather than being sharply divided into pro- and anti-1080 blocs as is generally assumed. All participants, including those who asserted that their support for 1080 was derived from scientific evidence, drew on both quantitative information and subjective, contextual experience to explain their views. Moreover, perceptions about risk were strongly mediated by two other important factors: deep attachment to the natural environment, and issues of trust and distrust in the way pest control was managed by the local and national authorities of DoC and the AHB. Fundamentally conflicting philosophies about the way the natural environment should be managed appeared to be behind claims by both supporters and opponents that those who did not agree with them had hidden agendas, and were putting the region at risk. Health concerns were not only about physical health risk but more about overall wellbeing, especially in relation to water contamination. Only the Māori rūnanga and DoC had a positive view of their reciprocal relationship which had developed through a combined forum over the past decade. Key recommendations include the need for changes to community engagement and increased transparency on the part of DoC and the AHB. Insights from this study may also apply to other parts of New Zealand where 1080 is hotly contested, as well as to situations where environmental and health risks are raised in opposition to developments such as wind farms or water resource management.

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  • The association between childhood and adolescent television viewing and antisocial behaviour in adulthood

    Robertson, Lindsay Anne (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Antisocial behaviour is a public health concern in many societies and can adversely affect not only individual perpetrators and victims, but the social and economic functioning of communities as a whole. Strategies aimed at preventing antisocial behaviour tend to take a developmental approach though many interventions have been criticised for their narrow focus on individual, rather than societal risk factors. The media is one of several potentially important contributing factors to antisocial behaviour and a large number of studies have been conducted to examine the relationship between television violence and antisocial behaviour. Experimental studies have provided good evidence that exposure to screen violence increases aggressive behaviour in the short-term. Cross-sectional studies indicate that increased exposure to media violence is associated with increased antisocial behaviour, however, the debate about whether television plays a causal role in the development of antisocial behaviour is ongoing. Few longitudinal studies have been carried out in this area, and those that have been completed have produced inconsistent results. The present study uses data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (DMHDS), to test the hypothesis that watching larger amounts of television during childhood and adolescence is associated with increased antisocial behaviour in early adulthood. The DMHDS is an ongoing longitudinal study of 1,037 Study members born between 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand. Study members have been assessed at birth, then every 2 years until age 15, then again at ages 18, 21 and 26 years. The main exposure measure was the mean weekday television viewing hours between 5 and 15 years old. Primary outcome measures were 1) having any type of conviction; 2) having a violent conviction, and 3) being diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder by age 26, and 4) levels of Negative Emotionality at ages 18 and 26. More television viewing between the ages of 5 and 15 years old was significantly associated with increased odds of having a criminal conviction and a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder by age 26, and higher Negative Emotionality scores, after a range of potential confounders was controlled for. Supplementary analyses provided some evidence that children aged 5 to 11 may be particularly susceptible to any effects of television viewing on antisocial behaviour. Given these findings, public health interventions aimed at reducing exposure to television violence would likely reduce antisocial behaviour in a population. Legislative measures concerning television broadcasting have been introduced in the United States, though these approaches have been largely ineffective. An alternative approach could include encouraging health professionals to incorporate advice about media use into child health assessments, and supporting health promoters to develop community-based programmes aimed at reducing television violence exposure. Further research is required on the effectiveness of media literacy as a way of mitigating the effects of exposure to television violence. Given the growth in new media technologies, and the fact that excessive use of media has been implicated in a range of adverse outcomes for young people, more research on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce overall media use is critical.

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  • Diabetes your Life your Journey: Development of a structured New Zealand focused group based diabetes self-management (DSME) programme for people, families and whanau with type 2 diabetes (T2DM)

    Gamble, Eirean (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Rates of T2DM in New Zealand are reaching epidemic proportions and reducing the impact of this disease is a Ministry of Health, health strategy priority. Diet and lifestyle modifications remain the cornerstone of diabetes management, but before these diet and lifestyle changes can happen behaviour change needs to occur. Internationally there is a movement towards group education programmes for people with T2DM to help achieve behaviour change. This two part study developed a structured, New Zealand focused group-based diabetes self-management education (DSME) programme for people with T2DM called Diabetes: Your Life Your Journey. Part one, which formed this MSc thesis was the development, pilot and modification of the DSME programme. Part two was a longitudinal pre and post test intervention trial in 100 participants which was outside the scope of this MSc thesis project. The literature review conducted reviewed national and international DSME programmes to determine if any one DSME programme could be adopted for this pilot. At this time there was no one national DSME programme that had been formally evaluated and had a written curriculum that could be adopted for this pilot. The international DSME programmes that have been formally reviewed and had written curriculums would require extensive modification to make them New Zealand specific. Therefore, aspects from all DSME programmes reviewed were combined to develop a New Zealand specific DSME programme that could be formally evaluated in New Zealand and have a written curriculum to the DSME programme to be conducted outside Wellington and to help uniform DSME education provided in New Zealand. To help develop the DSME programme a literature review of DSME programme guidelines was conducted to help shape the DSME programme developed. End user discussion groups were used to refine the DSME programme before piloting the DSME programme. Three pilot groups were run including a range of ethnic groups to ensure the DSME programme developed was culturally appropriate and helped those with the greatest diabetes burden become diabetes self-managers. Qualitative data was collected using an adapted version of the American Association of Diabetes Educators Qualitative assessment tool to assess lifestyle and psychosocial outcomes. Additionally clinical measurements were collected from the pilot groups and are reported in this thesis but this pilot did not detect change in these measures. Feedback from the research group, observing practice nurses, facilitators and participants was gained during the pilot phase and a modified version of the Diabetes: Your Life Your Journey was developed for use in part two of the study. This study achieved its primary goal of developing, piloting and modifying a DSME programme specific to the New Zealand population.

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  • The effects of ultraviolet-B deficient conditions on antioxidant metabolism and polyamine accumulation in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)

    Anderson, Cory Robert (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    All light from the sun contains radiation in the ultraviolet (UV) range, wavelengths between 200 and 400 nm that may be harmful to living organisms. Exposure of plant tissues to UV-B radiation (200-400 nm) may result in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), highly reactive chemical species that are capable of damaging biological macromolecules such as DNA, proteins and the lipids of cellular membranes. To detoxify ROS and prevent damage from occurring, plants maintain a battery of antioxidants and associated enzymes. Polyamines are small, aliphatic amines that are found in plants that also function in the stress response by protecting DNA, stabilizing cellular macromolecules and aiding the dissipation of excess energy in photosystem II (PSII). Antioxidants and polyamines are also important in human metabolism and may play a role in preventing the development of several chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. As antioxidant compounds and polyamines are accumulated in plants under conditions of UV-B stress, there is scope to increase the nutritional value of plant foods by exposing crops to UV-B. The aim of the current experiments was to investigate the effects of UV-B on the activity of antioxidants and polyamine accumulation in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), a leafy vegetable commonly grown in horticultural set-ups that reduce UV-B exposure. The ability of plant material from different UV-B environments to protect human colon cells from oxidative injury was also investigated. Exposure to UV-B increased the activity of the antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase as well as increasing the accumulation of the low-molecular weight antioxidants ascorbate and glutathione. Oxidative damage in UV-B exposed plants was reflected in increases in protein carbonyl and lipid hydroperoxide contents, and in increased oxidation of cellular ascorbate and glutathione pools. However, plants acclimatized to UV-B as the experiment progressed with markers of oxidative damage decreasing after one week of exposure. The response of lettuces to UV-B radiation also varied between varieties, the red-leafed cultivar ‘Red Salad Bowl’ having lower levels of oxidative damage and recovering more fully than other cultivars. Polyamines were also accumulated in response to UV-B radiation, especially free and conjugated forms putrescine and spermidine. Accumulation of spermine however, increased as UV-B exposure progressed and a higher proportion of spermine was accumulated as bound-spermine than was the case for other polyamines. Two pathways for polyamine biosynthesis exist in plants, starting from either ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) or arginine decarboxylase (ADC). ODC activity was not altered by UV-B. ADC activity was up-regulated in UV-B exposed plants, and the localization of this enzyme in chloroplasts suggests a role for polyamines in stabilizing PSII during UV-B stress. The accumulation of antioxidants and polyamines in UV-B exposed lettuces shows there is considerable scope for the nutritional quality of this crop to be improved through horticultural practices that expose lettuces to UV-B, especially if plants are allowed sufficient time for acclimation to UV-B stress before harvest.

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  • Investigating Cytotoxic T cell Responses to RHDV Virus-like Particles

    Scullion, Sarah Louise (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Immunotherapies prime cells of the immune system to generate an appropriate response against a specific target. One area of Immunotherapeutic research is the development of cancer vaccines such as the vaccines based on Virus-like particles (VLP). VLP derived from Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) have been shown to be effective in the induction of the cytotoxic responses to specific tumour antigens. The cytotoxic response of CD8+ T cells generated in response to a tumour is important for the clearance of tumour cells and the generation of memory T cells. Previous studies have shown that RHDV VLP were taken up by dendritic cells (DC) and cross presented, utilising the MHC-I recycling pathway but the cytotoxic response generated was not 100% effective against tumour challenge, in particular where the specific activation of CD4+ T cells was not activated. The aims of this research were firstly to produce RHDV VLP incorporating tumour epitopes and to determine the dendritic cell subset with the capacity to cross-present VLP to induce cytotoxic responses in vivo. Following on from this was an investigation into the role of CD4+ help to optimise cytotoxic responses and determine when is help required in relation to CD8+ activation. The addition of adjuvant was investigated in its capacity to improve the cytotoxic responses seen in vivo. Finally the production of antibody against VLP protein VP60 was investigated and the impact this antibody has on VLP uptake. To carry out these aims recombinant VLP expressing different immunogenic antigens; gp33 derived from LCMV and OTI, an ovalbumin derived MHC-I peptide, were generated using a baculovirus expression system (VLP.gp33 and VLP.OTI). Some VLP were also chemically coupled with ovalbumin derived MHC-II peptide (VLP.OTII and VLP.OTI.OTII). The importance of DC subsets expressing langerin on cross-presentation for the generation of cytotoxicity was investigated by depleting langerin positive DC using LangDTREGFP mice and vaccinating with VLP.gp33. The requirement for CD4 cells in the induction of in vivo cytotoxicity was assessed by determining the impact of vaccinating mice with VLP.OTI following the adoptive transfer of antigen specific OTI CD4 T cells. The timing of CD4 activation and whether CpG adjuvant could improve in vivo cytotoxic responses were carried out utilising the different VLP previously generated. The presence of antibody was assessed from the serum of animals that had previously been vaccinated with VLP.OTI and the impact on VLP uptake was determined utilising an in vitro uptake assay. These experiments showed that when depletion of the langerin+ DC was maintained, the in vivo specific lysis of gp33-labelled target cells was significantly reduced. The adoptive transfer of OTII CD4 T cells showed that when the transferred cells were activated by the presence of OTII peptide the cytotoxic responses were improved. The improved cytotoxic response was also observed when animals were vaccinated with VLP that were able to activate both CD4 and CD8 T cells (VLP.OTI.OTII). Regardless of when CD4 help was given in relation to CD8 activation there was no significant improvement to the cytotoxic response. Experiments with the addition of adjuvant to the VLP vaccination were able to show an improved cytotoxic response indicating the requirement of an adjuvant. Finally antibody was detected in high quantities against the VP60 protein and the presence of these antibodies was able to improve the uptake of VLP early on during the uptake process. Overall these results indicate that cross-presentation of peptides by langerin+ DC is important for the generation of cytotoxic responses of CD8 T cells and are improved when both CD4 and CD8 T cells are activated.

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  • Factors influencing the probiotic potential of an inhibitor-producing Micrococcus luteus

    Sawers, Christine (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    A strain of Micrococcus luteus, isolated from the epidermis of an adult human male, produces anti-bacterial activity in vitro. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential value of this bacterium, designated M. luteus Q24, as a topical probiotic. This objective was pursued by (i) determining the spectrum of inhibitory activity of M. luteus Q24 against a heterogeneous selection of bacteria; (ii) establishing the optimal conditions for production and extraction of the bioactive compound(s); (iii) attempting to characterise the bioactive compound(s); and (iv) monitoring bacterial interactions and population shifts on ex vivo epidermis following application of M. luteus Q24 and various other skin bacteria. The deferred antagonism test was used to assess the inhibitory activity of M. luteus Q24 against representatives of 32 bacterial species. All tested strains of Staphylococcus aureus were sensitive. Other sensitive bacteria included Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Staphylococcus simulans, Corynebacterium ulcerans, Corynebacterium diphtheriae biotype gravis, Streptococcus spp., Micrococcus spp., Lactococcus lactis, Propionibacterium propionicum and Propionibacterium acnes. Five staphylococci (Staphylococcus aureus CAMP, Staphylococcus aureus Oxford, Staphylococcus cohnii, Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Staphylococcus simulans) were selected as indicator organisms to further characterise the anti-staphylococcal inhibitory activity. M. luteus Q24 appeared to produce more than one bioactive compound in vitro, and the expression of these differed as a function of incubation time and medium composition. While inhibitory activity against various streptococci was optimal on blood agar after 48 hr incubation (at 37 °C in an atmosphere of 5 % CO2 in air), the best non blood-containing medium for recovery against the staphylococcal indicators was Columbia agar base supplemented with CaCl2 (50 mM) (CABCaCl2). Extraction of the anti-staphylococcal compound(s) from cells grown for 24 hr on CABCaCl2 was achieved with acidified 95 % methanol, followed by a further n- propanol extraction. No indication of a peptide component could be detected in the purified product by C18 reversed phase HPLC and subsequent analysis by mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). MS data indicated that the inhibitory compound was a long chain, branched molecule, containing sulphur, with an estimated molecular weight of 1061-1079 Da. Late elution from the r-HPLC column and the binding of the compound to the walls of polypropylene microcentrifuge tubes, indicated that the compound was hydrophobic (or held in a hydrophobic matrix). NMR analysis indicated the presence of a lipid component. An ex vivo model was developed using porcine skin to examine bacterial population interactions on an epithelial membrane. Test cultures were inoculated onto the epidermis of porcine skin to mimic infection. After incubation, samples of the bacterial population were recovered from the epidermis and analysed by culture and by PCR-DGGE. The population levels achieved by S. aureus CAMP were reduced by two orders of magnitude when co-cultured with M. luteus Q24 by comparison to the levels obtained from mono-culture inocula. By contrast, the population levels of S. aureus CAMP were not diminished by co-culture with M. luteus T-18 (a non inhibitor- producing strain). These findings provide encouraging evidence for the potential probiotic application of M. luteus Q24 to the prevention of cutaneous membrane infection. Of particular interest is the relatively high susceptibility of S. aureus strains to the M. luteus Q24 inhibitory compound(s). A beneficial public health application would be to assess the efficacy of M. luteus Q24 against methicillin resistant variants of S. aureus (MRSA), with the objective of colonising hospital personnel with M. luteus Q24 to decrease S. aureus carriage. Other important potential targets for M. luteus Q24 control are Propionibacterium spp., key aetiological agents of acne.

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  • Culture in the classroom of ESL learners: A case study of how culture is represented in the lessons of ESL children at a New Zealand mainstream primary school

    Oranje, Joanne Maree (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This study investigated whether teachers at a New Zealand full primary school considered it important for culture generally, and the cultures of their English Second Language (ESL) learners’ specifically, to feature in their teaching of ESL pupils. It also examined how the ESL learners’ cultures were represented in their lessons. The subject school’s six mainstream teachers and sole ESL teacher were interviewed and observed. It was found that teachers had limited knowledge of the backgrounds of their ESL pupils and faced challenges in developing constructive relationships with the ESL families. All teachers reported being aware of their own culture but appeared not to reflect upon it or objectively compare it with cultures they explored as a class, a key component of intercultural language teaching practices promoted in Ministry of Education-endorsed materials for mainstream education of ESL students. New Zealand cultures were dominant as the everyday ‘classroom culture’. Explicit teaching of the classroom culture was infrequent, but some elements were made noticeable through more implicit means. Cultures regularly featured as topic studies, however the intentional incorporation of the ESL learners’ cultures was infrequent, and most often occurred non-purposefully. It was not clear that teachers recognised school-wide benefits of involving ESL learners’ home cultures. Lave and Wenger’s (1991) communities of practice model interpreted the findings and indicated current practices might affect the ESL learners’ legitimacy as a member of the classroom community of practice and affect their access to the community’s resources, its more expert members and its practices. However, it is likely that this is a result of the teachers having limited knowledge of intercultural teaching principles and associated practices, and the belief, of most, that culture is a separate topic, warranting is own allocation of time and other resources, but needing to be sacrificed in order to meet the other challenges of a full curriculum and busy classroom.

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  • The Development of the New Zealand Mortality Review Information System

    Needs, Glenys Elaine (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    New Zealand’s mortality review information system (MRIS) supports both local and national mortality review processes for the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee (established 2001) and the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (established 2005). This study identifies the process used to compile national mortality review statistics by examining pertinent information available from the Ministry of Health, data suppliers and the data manager. The use of internal documents and data files facilitated description of the information sources and data supplied (2002 to early 2009), as well as the data integration and secure storage processes, website development and reporting for the committees. Five government agencies, one government funded agency, coroners and Lead Maternity Carers are main sources of information. Coordinators in District Health Boards contribute further information after local review of an individual death. All information is linked to entries in the MySQL database death register. Lead maternity carers and families can add information to the database via an applicable web application. Two further web applications allow coordinators to search, view, update and produce summaries. One committee predominantly reports basic information saved in the death register whereas the other reports on all data collected on its questionnaires, using a classification assigned by local review and validated by national audit. Although the committees have reported statistics from the MRIS, the accuracy of these had not been established. Comparison of publicly available information revealed that official statistics were similar to Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee published deaths for the period 2002-2005. Death registrations are the primary source for official mortality statistics. Whereas the Ministry of Health and Statistics New Zealand report on deaths registered in a calendar year, the MRIS reports deaths that occur in a calendar year. A comparison of the 2002-2007 deaths recorded in the Ministry of Health Mortality Collection at 31 August 2008 and in an MRIS backup from 5 September 2008 revealed there were 27 deaths missing from the MRIS (22 in 2006) and up to 333 missing from the Mortality Collection (predominantly stillbirths). These comparisons suggest the MRIS is a credible research resource. Examination of the evolution of the MRIS (in the context of international multi-agency mortality review) allowed opportunities for improvement to be identified. Whereas information from some sources is complete or near complete, availability of information from other sources is inconsistent. There is a pattern of incomplete projects as system development occurs in response to continual external change and evolution of mortality review processes. Production of timely, reliable, accurate reports is not yet possible. Creating a single prioritisation process, allowing time to revise the data structure and complete documentation would improve the MRIS. Future development should continue to use technology to minimise the manual workload of coordinators, utilise national information sources (including a potential national birth health dataset) and ensure there is a good match between electronic and manual processes, and desired mortality reduction outcomes.

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  • The Effect of Interleukin-6 on Neuropeptide Gene Expression in Bovine Adrenal Chromaffin Cells

    Tranter, Danielle Elizabeth (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The adrenal medulla assists in coordinating the stress response through various neuronal, endocrine and paracrine signals. Evidence indicates that the adrenal medulla may also be responsive to signals originating from the activated immune system, such as interleukin-6, interleukin-1 and tumour necrosis factor-α, thus forming part of a bi-directional relationship. Previous research in our laboratory has indicated bovine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells are directly responsive to interleukin-6, leading to the activation of the signal transduction and activator of transcription 3 and extracellular regulated kinase pathways. Additionally, recent microarray data has indicated interleukin-6 induces alterations in a number of genes encoding neuropeptides. This thesis aims to investigate interleukin-6 induced neuropeptide gene expression by validating the microarray findings through the use of quantitative PCR, and additionally, to explore signalling mechanisms potentially involved. Primary chromaffin cell cultures were incubated for 24h in the presence or absence of interleukin-6. The total RNA was extracted and processed for qRT-PCR for selected neuropeptides (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, galanin, stanniocalcin1, angiopoetin2, parathyroid-related peptide and gastrin releasing peptide). Immunocytochemistry was conducted to investigate expression of the latter two, both before or after treatment with interleukin-6. Cells were also treated with protein kinase inhibitors to gain an understanding of signalling pathways involved in mediating these effects. Finally, the cells were incubated with a combination of interleukin-6 and pituitary adenylyl cyclase activating polypeptide to investigate interactions. The increases in mRNA seen with the microarray data was confirmed for vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, galanin, parathyroid-related peptide and gastrin releasing peptide through qRT-PCR, and the latter two were localised to chromaffin cells by immunocytochemistry. These results confirm that interleukin-6 acts directly on chromaffin cells to increase the expression of various neuropeptides, of which two have been shown by immunocytochemistry to be present in chromaffin cells. However, it remains uncertain whether protein levels increase with interleukin-6 treatment. As some of these neuropeptides have been previously described to have anti-inflammatory actions via the adrenal cortex, this work supports existence of a stress-immune interaction. The adrenal medulla is thus implicated in preventing an exacerbated inflammatory response

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