6,182 results for Auckland University of Technology

  • Implications of government intervention in foreign direct investment: The e-commerce sector in India

    Shah, Kush Hemant

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The last few decades have seen significant changes in the international investment landscape and foreign direct investment (FDI) has remained an integral part of it. Since the turn of the century, with an increase in the importance and usage of internet by businesses, the digital platforms of e-commerce have transformed the way in which firms conduct business across international borders. The laws governing the functioning of this sector play a huge role in its future growth. India has demonstrated massive growth in the last few years and its e-commerce sector, in particular, has grown markedly. Today, the sector has reached a market value of approximately US$20 billion and it is expected to reach US$120 billion by 2020. Since the liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1991, the Indian government has encouraged foreign investment in various sectors of the economy from manufacturing, infrastructure, to IT and business services. India brought further reforms in 2016 when they relaxed screening processes for foreign investors to encourage them to participate in the e-commerce sector. This recent introduction of policy reforms in the e-commerce sector has raised fears among industry experts that the policy has the potential to have negative implications in the Indian market. The aim of this dissertation is to analyse the potential consequences of the recently introduced e-commerce policy on the Indian retail sector. The research question guiding this study is “How is the recent government permission of 100% FDI in the e-commerce sector in India expected to impact the Indian retail sector?”. A qualitative analytical stance with interpretivism as the research paradigm has been adopted for this study. Within that, a thematic analysis of secondary sources of data was conducted to derive key themes and acquire a better understanding of the research topic. The results of this research study suggest that the introduction of the recent e-commerce policy has significantly changed the market conditions in the e-commerce sector in India. The policy has shown signs of reducing predatory pricing, and it has raised hopes of achieving a level playing field in the retail market. However, the policy has also brought on negative implications like the reappearance of fraudulent transactions, negative impact of increased foreign competition on homegrown companies, less e-commerce, and a continuing violation of rules. This has raised fears that the new policy is too restrictive in its effect on controlling the market, and that it will bring negative implications for the retail sector, instead of positive, in the long run. Additionally, there is also evidence of fears that the policy has sparked a speculative bubble in the retail industry, which potentially brings grave consequences for the Indian economy if and when it bursts. Therefore, it is concluded that the government of India needs to play a stronger role in controlling foreign participation in its domestic e-commerce sector and that it needs to come up with a better policy framework to control market conditions and restore equilibrium to ensure sustainable growth of the e-commerce and retail sector in India.

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  • Tāura ki te Atua - The role of 'akairo in Cook Islands Art

    Tavioni, Michael

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This exegesis examines the role of traditional art in Cook Islands society as the temporary instantiation of the divine and the role and function of ‘akairo (artistic motifs) in generating the aesthetic standards required to capture and contain mana. ‘Instantiation’ here refers to the aesthetic realisation of an other-worldly abstraction in a concrete form in this world – in Kaeppler’s terms “making the invisible visible” (Kaeppler, 1980:120). An art work that achieves such status is regarded in Cook Islands society as a tāura atua (a medium of rapport with the gods). While a great number of Cook Islands ‘akairo used to decorate artworks are derived from the human form (tikitiki tangata), others represent elements of nature or cosmology ruled over by atua in Te Pō (the darkness, the unknown) and include those derived from the land, sea and shore, from flora and fauna, and from the stars and skies. Such ‘akairo are regarded as (1) statements of relatedness or akapapa’anga (genealogy) between human and natural elements in Te Ao (this world) and their divine ancestors in Te Pō (for the purposes of this study, such relations between atua and Te Ao are treated as ‘held within life stories’ (Eakin, 1999; Bishop 1996); (2) as mnemonics for meditations or karakia (incantations) to divine ancestors, or in Kaeppler’s terms, “objectified prayers” (Kaeppler 2007; 122) and (3) as a form of ‘wrapping in images’ similar to tattoo (Gell, 1993: 3-5), where the act of wrapping is seen as containing mana and ‘sanctifying’ gods, chiefs and priests. This echoes Hooper’s view that “surface carving can be understood as a kind of binding [ritual wrapping] with carved patterns” (2006: 229). Finally, these themes are themselves instantiated in an art work which affirms human relatedness to the divine, and the ability of art to glimpse divinity while, at the same time, acknowledging the ultimate unknowableness of the life essence, I’o.

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  • Comparative evaluations of image encryption algorithms

    Liu, Zhe

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Information security has become a significant issue for protecting the secret information during transmission in practical applications in the era of information. A raft of information security schemes have been used in image encryption. These schemes can be divided into two domains; the first one encrypts the images based on spatial domain, the typical method of spatial image encryption technology is in use of chaotic system, most of the earlier encryption methods are belong to this domain; the other encrypts images on frequency domain, most of the optical image encryption methods are processed in this domain. In this thesis, a slew of approaches for image encryption have been proposed. The contributions of this thesis are listed as follows. (1) We design the improved encryption method based on traditional Double Random Phase Encoding (DRPE) method and use Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) to replace Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) so as to avoid operations on complex numbers; we use a logistic map to generate random matrices instead of random phase masks in the traditional DRPE so as to decrease the size of secret keys. (2) We design the encryption method based on traditional watermarking scheme by using Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT), DCT and Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) together, the proposed DWT-DCT-SVD method has higher robustness than traditional chaotic scrambling method and DRPE method. (3) We improve the DWT-DCT-SVD method by using denoising techniques and design the denoising method based on Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN); the improved method has higher robustness against noise attacks.

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  • Diagnosis and genome analysis of lettuce necrotic yellows virus subgroups

    Ajithkumar, Priyadarshana

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Lettuce necrotic yellows virus is the type species of Cytorhabdovirus. This plant virus causes a disease that is most frequently reported in lettuce in Australia and New Zealand. The lettuce necrotic yellows virus (LNYV) population comprises two subgroups; subgroup I and subgroup II. The subgroups were previously identified by phylogenetic analysis of LNYV, and a diagnostic method distinguishing these subgroups has not yet been developed. In the current study, a diagnostic test for the LNYV subgroups based on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and RT-PCR- restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) was developed and used for subgroup diagnosis. Subgroup specific primers were designed and tested on known infected samples. RT-PCR diagnosis of LNYV subgroups with these primers requires the subgroup specific primers are used in separate reactions, requiring two reactions for each sample being tested. The RT-PCR-RFLP diagnostic test allows amplification of an LNYV sequence using all the subgroup primers combined, followed by a restriction digest to generate a diagnostic pattern of DNA fragments that can be identified by gel electrophoresis.. The previously designed primers, BCNG1/BCNG2, and LNYV_440F/LNYV_1185R primer pairs were used for LNYV diagnosis. The conditions of these primers were re-optimised for the use in AUT laboratory. The as above mentioned primers were used to test for LNYV and its subgroup on potentially LNYV infected plants collected from Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury. A total of ten samples were tested positive for LNYV; three were subgroup I, six were subgroup II and one sample was LNYV subgroup unknown. LNYV subgroups can now be diagnosed more rapidly than by the previously used sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The results also showed that LNYV_440F/LNYV_1185R primer pair was more efficient than BCNG1/BCNG2 primers to detect LNYV. The false negative results caused by BCNG1/BCNG2 primer pair could be due to RNA degradation. Only one complete genome of LNYV (subgroup I) has been reported, which was obtained from an Australian isolate. In this study, the complete genomes of LNYV subgroups I and II from New Zealand isolates were sequenced by Illumina HiSeq. Phylogenetic analyses of LNYV genomes and all the available cytorhabdovirus and nucleorhabdovirus genomes were carried out. The results showed that LNYV subgroup I genomes are most closely related to each other than to subgroup II. Lettuce yellow mottle virus was the most closely related to LNYV. Phylogenetic analyses of the LNYV nucleocapsid gene sequences were also performed. The amino acid phylogenetic analysis shows that the AU9 isolate (subgroup II from Australia) appears to be closely related to the common ancestor, which indicates the origin of subgroup II. Since the complete genome or other gene sequences from the AU9 isolate are not available, the origin of LNYV cannot be confirmed. More samples from both Australia and New Zealand are necessary to understand these relationships more clearly. LNYV subgroup I isolate has not been detected in Australia since 1993 and subgroup II may have outcompeted subgroup I in Australia, while this has not occurred in New Zealand. It was hypothesised by previously that subgroup II may have a more efficient relationship with the insect vectors and hosts. The glycoprotein was specifically analysed in the current study because rhabdoviruses use glycoprotein to attach and penetrate to the insect vectors/plant hosts. It was hypothesised that analysis of the glycoprotein may help to determine if subgroup II has a higher efficient relationship with insect/plant hosts than subgroup I. Six characteristics of glycoprotein sequence and 2D structure were analysed. It showed there were differences between the subgroups. However, a 3D structure and mutational analysis are needed to determine if the differences affect its association with the insect/plant hosts.

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  • Exploration of the 3D world on the internet using commodity virtual reality devices

    Tran, Huy Quang

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis describes the development of a graphically interactive and online Virtual Reality (VR) application. Based on keywords provided by users, it automatically retrieves and display stereoscopic contents from the Internet. The system also includes a state-of-the-art feature matching algorithm which can filter stereoscopic contents from “normal” 2D contents. With the main goal of delivering an affordable way of viewing 3D VR contents, the application is designed to be specifically compatible with the low-cost smartphone VR platforms such as Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, and Samsung Gear VR. The experiment results show that the current application prototype is portable, easy-to-use, and effective in retrieving and displaying stereoscopic contents. With this application, users all over the world could easily experience millions of stereoscopic contents on the Internet. It also has a huge potential of becoming a great tool for both VR testing and learning purposes.

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  • Monitoring the countermovement jump throughout a netball season: Potential implications for performance

    Gibbs, Megan

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Netball is a sport which demands high intensity locomotion across the court. As a result, athletes must be physically resilient. While there has been a lot of research on fatigue monitoring and perceived risk of injury, few studies have investigated fatigue in netball and how it influences performance capacity. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between acute chronic workload (ACWL) ratios and the capacity to perform. Eight provincial representative athletes (age = 20 ± 3 years, body mass = 76.2 ± 9.9 kg, height = 179 ± 7cm) volunteered to complete countermovement jump (CMJ) testing twice a week throughout the season, while also monitoring their physical exertion using session rating of perceived exertion (RPE). All data was analysed using R-Studio software. Pearson correlation coefficients, ANCOVA and paired sample t-tests were calculated. The results indicated that relative mean power output significantly increased across the season (p<0.001) both inside and outside the identified 0.8-1.3 ACWL zone. A relationship between each individual’s perceived capacity for performance based on quantifiable fatigue was identified. Practitioner’s should look to implement affordable, and efficient monitoring if it helps to inform future strength and conditioning delivery ultimately improving performances.

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  • Emotional intelligence as an influence on the practices of educational leaders

    Kashif, Sadia

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Over the last few decades, the concept of emotional intelligence has gained popularity and is considered a vital attribute of effective leadership. School leaders’ emotional intelligence skills are crucial to enhance students’ achievements and ensure the well-being of a school as a learning community (Gray, 2009). This study analysed the influence emotional intelligence has on educational leaders’ practices in two primary schools in Auckland, New Zealand. It aimed to examine ways in which school leaders define the concept of emotional intelligence and identify the importance of emotional intelligence skills related to leadership practices. This thesis explores how emotional intelligence influences the practices of educational leaders. A qualitative approach was employed and data were collected through interviews with six participants including two principals, two deputy principals, and two teachers. The research findings highlighted that leadership practices were linked to emotional intelligence in-situ as identified by the participants of this study. It also offered insights into the pressures and issues when undertaking effective leadership practices related to emotional intelligence. The analysis of the data indicated that emotional intelligence has a positive influence on leadership practices. School leaders ‘buy in’ to emotional intelligence is profoundly dependent on context and its external and internal influences. Furthermore, leaders employ a wide range of skills for leadership practices to be successful and meaningful, and emotional intelligence is one skill set that may facilitate them in their endeavours to achieve effective leadership and meet the learning and teaching needs of students and teachers.

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  • The experiences of accessing health care for families of children with bronchiectasis in the Counties Manukau District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand: A qualitative study

    Jepsen, Nicola Elizabeth

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background: Bronchiectasis is a chronic respiratory condition and a worsening public health problem in New Zealand, particularly in the Counties Manukau District Health Board area in Auckland. The disease contributes to significant health care costs, as well as presenting a social and economic burden to individuals and the community. Population patterns display significant social disparities, with highest rates amongst Māori, Pacific Island and disadvantaged people. While bronchiectasis can develop at any age, children are particularly susceptible, and it is imperative that bronchiectasis is identified and managed early, or even prevented from developing. Poor access to health care is one factor that may influence the development of bronchiectasis. There is no existing literature exploring access to health care for families of children with bronchiectasis. It is important that the experiences of these families are understood, in order to critique and improve current health care systems. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of accessing health care for families of children with bronchiectasis in the Counties Manukau District Health Board area. Methods: Interpretive descriptive methodology was used to guide this study. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with ten participants, who were parents of children with bronchiectasis. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was employed for data analysis. Results: Five key themes were developed: 1) Searching for answers, describing parents’ search for a diagnosis; 2) (Dis)empowerment, describing parents’ initial vulnerability, then acquisition of knowledge, which led to greater empowerment in the health care provider-parent relationship; 3) Health care and relationships, describing the impact of the relationship between health care provider and parent on the parent’s health care experiences; 4) A juggling act, describing the challenges of juggling health care with school, work and family life; and 5) Making it work, describing how, despite experiencing barriers to accessing health care, parents could find a way to ‘make it work’. Conclusions: The study found that the relationship between health care provider and parent was crucial. Health care providers must appreciate the influence of the relationships they build with patients and parents and emphasise patient-centred care. Communication and trust were important factors for fostering a helpful health care relationship and power dynamics inherent in health care provider-parent relationships must be acknowledged. Parents’ empowerment within these relationships was facilitated by their acquisition of knowledge. While parents sometimes experienced practical barriers to accessing health care (like financial or transportation difficulties), parents’ perceptions of the quality and potential benefit of health care services motivated them to find ways to overcome these barriers. The findings of this study may help to improve access to health care for parents of children with bronchiectasis if identified issues and implications for practice are addressed by health care providers and health system stakeholders.  

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  • A novel technique to manufacture carbon-free gas diffusion layer for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell application by a selective laser sintering (3D Printing)

    Jayakumar, Arunkumar

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    A Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) is an integral component of a PEM fuel cell stack, which plays a significant role in determining its performance, durability and the dynamic characteristics. An ideal GDL function to simultaneously transport three of the five essential elements, namely gas, water and heat involved in the electrochemical reaction. In addition, it also transports the electron produced in the electrochemical reaction and serves as an armour to safeguard the membrane (Nafion), which is a delicate and most expensive component of the PEM fuel cell stack. However, the conventional carbon-based GDL materials suffer from degradation issues during PEM fuel cell operation, and the predominant one is the electrochemical voltage oxidation. The electrochemical degradation is due to the oxidation of the carbon present in the carbon paper to carbon dioxide especially at voltages greater than 0.207 V on a standard hydrogen electrode (SHE). Operating a PEM fuel cell stack at a low voltage (<0.207 V) is not practically possible since it can severely aggravate the operating efficiency and power density of the PEM fuel cell stack. Incorporating a GDL that is free from carbon can be a promising solution to circumvent these issues about the electrochemical oxidation. Also, the conventional GDL manufacturing technique had a tedious and complicated process, which involves multiple stages. These multiple production stages also led to its high manufacturing costs and increased lead-time. The proposed research work is estimated to address both these issues of GDL durability and manufacturing costs. The additive manufacturing method incorporating selective laser sintering (SLS) technique aims to provide a comprehensive solution to address both these issues. The concept of SLS is that the laser beam robotically scans the composite powder (base and conductive powder) at points in a space defined by a 3D model, fusing and subsequently binding the composite material together to create a solid-state structure. Thus, SLS can be a favourable route to fabricate a carbon-free GDL as well as to reduce its manufacturing costs and lead-time. At the end of the experimental investigation, holistic characterisation studies were performed to have a general insight on the characteristics of the proposed material. Valuable information is extrapolated from the characterisation studies, which can assist, to fine-tune the material selection and SLS process parameter. In addition, ground-breaking findings from the perspective of the structural and functional relationship of the proposed GDL specimen had been made considering the first principles of the diverse field of engineering. Though the performance based on the experimental results are inferior, it gives us the buoyancy that the proposed proof of concept can be a promising route to fabricate durable and cost-effective gas diffusion layers based on the critical observations of the SLS process.

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  • Debt sources: Empirical determinants and their impact on corporate financial policies

    Ho, Cam Tu

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Different debt sources have different characteristics, which can have different impact on various corporate financial policies. Understanding a firm’s choice of debt sources and how this choice affects the firm’s value and its financial decisions is important for managers, lenders and investors. Using an updated hand-collected data set of debt sources, my thesis investigates the factors driving the debt source mix and its impact on investment and dividend policies. I examine the empirical determinants of the debt sources based on three different theoretical frameworks. In general, I observe that firm size, firm age and leverage are important factors driving a firm’s choice between public and private debt. Moreover, I attempt to resolve the puzzle found in the literature, in which public and bank debt are similarly related with most firm characteristics, while non-bank private debt exhibits an opposite pattern. Using an updated data set of debt sources, I find that bank debt and public debt behave oppositely, while non-bank private debt stays in the middle with combined features of both bank and public debt choice. This result is consistent with the characteristics of debt sources described in the literature. I further examine the role of the banks’ monitoring on investment efficiency. I find that firms with higher bank debt use have higher investment inefficiency. This impact however, is not present in smaller, loss-making, or high growth firms, suggesting that banks might not monitor all borrowers, but selectively discipline firms with certain level of risks and information asymmetry. Finally, I study the impact of the debt source mix on dividend payouts. In general, I find that firms with more bank debts are the least likely to pay dividends and often pay the smallest amount of dividend, followed by non-bank private debt and public debt, which comes last. Moreover, the impact of debt sources on dividend policies can vary with firm credit risk, information asymmetry and the need for costly contracts.

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  • Working collaboratively in Hospice and palliative care - Sharing TIme

    McDonald, Christine

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Palliative care is the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual care of people with a life-limiting illness (Palliative Care Subcommittee, 2007). As a health care service, palliative care advocates for a holistic multidisciplinary approach. While service delivery is certainly multidisciplinary, whether health professionals working in New Zealand palliative care services practice collaboratively, and in what form that collaboration takes, is unknown. Collaborative practice can be difficult to achieve, as traditionally trained health professionals are more accustomed to working alongside each other, rather than together (Herbert, 2005; Herbert et al., 2007). Gaining further knowledge about what is occurring in practice is important when, driven by international workforce shortages and an increasing complexity of health care, the World Health Organisation (WHO) (WHO & Health Professions Network Nursing and Midwifery Office: Department of Human Resources for Health, 2010) has called for interprofessional education and collaborative practice across all areas of health care. Glaserian grounded theory methodology has been used to examine the area of interest which is, ‘What is the main concern of health professionals working collaboratively in palliative care (with colleagues and patients) and how do they manage that?’ A total of 25 interviews were undertaken with 23 participants, across professional disciplines, working in palliative care services within the North Island of New Zealand. Through an iterative process of constant comparative analysis and conceptualisation, using memoing, key concepts, and abstracting categories, a theory emerged. The theory of Sharing Time explained the social process of how health professionals working collaboratively in palliative care facilitated collaboration, while managing their main concern. Sharing Time is both an interactive participatory process and an outcome. The main concern of possessorship, is defined as having possession of a tangible commodity or having a need to have possession of an intangible commodity, that has the potential to impact patient care when not shared. Sharing Time occurs when health professionals purposefully make time, take time, find time, and spend time in their workday for and with each other, to share further, and facilitate collaboration. Sharing Time occurs through purposeful connecting and finding common ground. Integrated by reciprocity this theory is mutually beneficial to all involved as there is an exchange of a commodity, such as equipment or information, which improves patient care. This research also discovered that health professionals Sharing Time are facilitating collaboration by situating this strategy in a middle ground. Moving outside of this middle ground, where there is too much or too little Sharing Time, continues the main concern of possessorship rather than manages it, which adds barriers to collaboration. The theory of Sharing Time has potential value for all health professionals working in palliative care, as it facilitates collaboration and promotes further sharing. Collaboration and managing possessorship promotes a safer work environment.

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  • Examining materiality in sustainability reporting: Evidence from GCC countries

    Sarraj, Dania

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The objectives of issuing a balanced sustainability report (SR) are to increase corporate accountability and provide stakeholders with more transparency. This requires companies to provide disclosure over material social, environmental and economic issues. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 guidelines attempt to achieve this by stressing the need for reporters to undertake a materiality assessment following four key steps: identifying, prioritising, validating and reviewing. Adopting such an approach ensures that reporters identify and disclose material issues in their SRs. This improves transparency and ultimately corporate accountability to stakeholders. However, there is scarce research investigating companies’ disclosure of the materiality assessment process within their SRs. To address this gap, this research analyses the SRs of 141 companies from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)) from 2013 to 2016. Institutional theory is the theoretical perspective that has adopted in this study. The research investigates three research interconnected research questions. The first research questions ask, “What disclosure, if any, is provided by GCC companies over their materiality assessment?”. The aim is to identify which GCC companies provide disclosure over their materiality assessment process in their SRs and which GCC companies do not provide this information. Provision of this information is important as it helps stakeholders to understand the process used by reporters in identifying material issues. The second research is “How has corporate disclosure over the materiality assessment changed from 2013 to 2016 amongst GCC companies?” The aim is to track, from 2013 to 2016, changes in corporate disclosure over the materiality assessment process since the introduction of the GRI G4 guidelines in 2013 and to evaluate how corporate disclosure over the materiality assessment process has changed. The third research question explores “How does the materiality assessment process adopted by companies, as disclosed within their SRs, compare against the requirements of the GRI guidelines?”. The aim is to compare the materiality assessment process as disclosed within the SRs of GCC companies against the requirements of the GRI guidelines. For this purpose, the study identifies three classifications; extensive, limited and nondisclosure by using the method of content analysis. Furthermore, the study evaluates if reporters disclose a materiality matrix (i.e. a graphical depiction of their materiality assessment process). The most significant findings of this research are the different level of disclosure materiality assessment process in the sample of GCC companies relates to the different institutional pressures. The extent of disclosing materiality assessment process over SRs in the sample of GCC companies has increased from 2013 to 2015. The UAE has achieved the highest number of SRs with disclosure on the materiality assessment process. This is followed by Qatar, KSA, Kuwait and Oman. Bahraini companies lag behind having only started to disclose on their materiality assessment process in 2015. Although adopting the GRI G4 guidelines have contributed to improvements in the disclosure of materiality assessment process in the sample GCC companies, around half of the sample GCC companies still did not disclose any information over the study period. SRs of the GCC sample companies with no materiality assessment disclosure can be difficult for stakeholders to understand as they become ambiguous and less transparent because of the possibility of omitting material issues. This study has practical and academic contributions. On the practical side, research results are considered valuable to companies or reporters who are interested in the materiality assessment approach. The research recommends that GCC companies improve their SRs by providing more disclosure of the process of a materiality assessment. On the academic side, the study builds on institutional theory to inspect the phenomenon of sustainability reporting with materiality assessment processes. Finally, since the research is limited in this area, the findings will contribute to extend the literature on understanding materiality assessment disclosure based on GRI guidelines.

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  • Development of a probiotic beverage using breadfruit flour as a substrate

    Gao, Yifeng

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The development of non-dairy probiotic beverages has been of great interest in recent years. The main driver for growth of lactose-free food is driven by the increased incidences of lactose intolerant individuals. The aim of this research was to develop a probiotic breadfruit substrate beverage and to examine how microbiological, physicochemical and sensory characteristics of the beverage changes with different fermentation conditions. In the preliminary study, the ability of Lactobacillus plantarum DPC206, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei and their mixed stains to grow in a breadfruit substrate media was investigated. Mixed strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum DPC206 yielded satisfactory probiotic value of over 7 log10 CFU/mL after 24 h fermentation with 5% breadfruit flour and 10% sugar. Preliminary results further showed that beverages containing Lactobacillus plantarum DPC206 or Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum DPC206 were positively described in terms of sensory characteristics. However, beverage containing Lactobacillus casei presented undesirable flavour. Based on the results, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum DPC 206 were selected as starter culture for the optimization of fermented breadfruit substrate beverage. In the optimization of fermented beverage using Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum DPC206, four different levels of breadfruit (2 to 7%), sucrose (5 to 15%), fermentation temperature (30 to 37℃) and inoculum concentration (1 to 3%), were investigated by applying the D-optimal mixture design. The effects of fermentation parameters on cell viability, pH, titratable acidity, sugar concentration and lactic acid in beverages were determined. Results using the D-optimal mixture design showed that sugar, inoculum concentration and proportion of breadfruit flour significantly influenced cell viability. The optimized values based on the contour plots generated were: 7% breadfruit flour, 1% inoculum, and 15% sugar after fermentation at 30℃ for 48 h. CFU of fermented beverage was positively correlated with sugar increase. Interactions between amount of sugar and proportion of breadfruit flour, as well as inoculum and proportion of breadfruit flour were negatively correlated with titratable acidity and lactic acid, respectively. Sensory evaluation was further carried out on six different breadfruit substrate beverages using projective mapping and measuring sensory acceptance. Results showed that the fermented breadfruit substrate beverage was characterized by a pale-yellow appearance, fruity flavour, and sweet and sour taste. The hedonic test was carried out liking of appearance, odour, flavour, aftertaste and overall liking. Liking was not significantly different (p > 0.05) for almost all samples except for the formulation 4, which contained 7% breadfruit, 3% inoculum, and 5% sugar, and were described as bitter and had the least acceptance. The most obvious finding to come out from this research is the development of a novel fermented breadfruit-based beverage with acceptable sensory characteristics and cell viability using a mixture strain of L. acidophilus and L. plantarum DPC 206.

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  • Enhancing the teaching of mathematically intensive STEM disciplines at a tertiary level through the use of pen-enabled Tablet PCs

    Maclaren, Peter

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis examines issues involved in the introduction of pen-enabled Tablet PC (penTPCs) technology in a university context, for use in learning and teaching within mathematically intensive subjects. A design based research (DBR) approach is explored, in which a conceptual framework is used to provide a theoretical and practical basis for the introduction of the technology. Lecturer and student reactions to this intervention were studied and are related to the conceptual framework, to validate the rationale for the intervention, and to suggest the design of potential ongoing cycles of future intervention. A conjecture mapping technique is used to describe the intervention design. Institutional factors that acted to either support or impede the introduction of the technology are also identified. The core content of this thesis is contained in five international journal papers (four published, one under review) that investigate different aspects of the initial cycle of technology implementation. Data from student and staff surveys, video of class sessions, and other evidence was analysed. This revealed a generally favourable response from lecturers and students to the initial introduction of the technology, but that the usage was essentially in maintenance of traditional pedagogic approaches; the penTPC provided a functional improvement in visibility over classroom whiteboard displays, while allowing continuing use of dynamic handwritten development of material. However, additional analysis of the response data, and a review of the associated conceptual framework, suggests that another cycle of a DBR approach could investigate use of the technology in support of alternative, more transformative, pedagogic approaches. While the thesis examines a specific case of penTPC technology introduction, the findings and DBR approach developed may also be applicable in other contexts and in the introduction of other learning and teaching technologies.

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  • Migrant acculturation: An exploration of the early work experiences of Indian professionals working in skilled occupations in New Zealand

    Lama, Meghana

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The Indian migrant group in New Zealand has been growing rapidly in the recent past, and a significant number of Indian migrants who relocate into the country are skilled professionals (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, 2016; Statistics New Zealand, 2014). Skilled migrants contribute towards increasing the human capital of the host country, by bringing with them skills, knowledge and expertise that can be harnessed to create economic advantage for their employers and the larger community (Ben-Gad, 2008; Ortega & Peri, 2014). Smooth adaptation of skilled migrants at the workplace could therefore, prove beneficial to not just the migrant individuals, but also to their employers and the larger economy. This research aims to examine the workplace acculturation experiences of skilled, first generation Indian migrants in New Zealand, and how intercultural interactions at the workplace influence their adaptation process. Interpretive descriptive methodology (Smythe, 2012) was adopted to address the research question and one-on-one, in-depth interviews with five professional, first generation Indian migrants in the city of Auckland formed the basis of this study. Analysis of the findings was done using the theoretical concepts of culture shock, acculturation and culture distance. This research finds that workplace acculturation experiences of professional Indian migrants are greatly influenced by their background and individual contexts; key factors being previous exposure to a foreign environment, financial liabilities and visa type. Visa conditions in particular, are found to have a crucial relationship with the employment choices of migrants, influencing their career choices and affecting their early workplace experiences. The lack of New Zealand work experience was a key barrier faced by participants while seeking employment in New Zealand, but once this initial hurdle was crossed, their workplace acculturation was smooth and swift. This seamless adaptation at work was attributed to the support of supervisors and colleagues, although the participants’ employers did not have formally established diversity policies and practices. This research provides practical insights to organisations that can help them formulate effective inclusion practices to support new migrants, particularly Indian professional migrants in the workplace. It also adds to the existing academic knowledge in this area, considering that there is a scarcity of studies centered on the adaptation experiences of skilled Indian migrants in New Zealand.

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  • Better silent than silenced: Searching for the words of sibling suicide bereavement

    Royden, Leah

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Commonly referred to as ‘the forgotten mourners’, little has been written about siblings bereaved by suicide. Grieving parents, children and spouses have been extensively studied by comparison, and this seems to mirror what happens in the aftermath of a self-inflicted death. For numerous reasons brothers and sisters find themselves voiceless in their grief, despite intense longing to talk about what has happened. In this research, I draw on the loss of my own brother to suicide to heuristically explore what helps me put words to the experience of living through his death. Located within a phenomenological paradigm, the study is guided by Moustakas’ (1990) method to facilitate sustained immersion, self-dialogue and self-discovery. From this process, five main ‘facets’ of the experience of losing a sibling to suicide were identified, ranging from basic disclosure through to deep discussion of the details and ongoing impact. By examining these themes in relation to who I was speaking to, and the role/s each of us were holding at that moment, the experience is distilled to a basic equation that belies immense personal and social complexity beneath. When choosing to speak or stay silent about sibling suicide, the fear of relational pain in a given interaction is weighed against the longing to be known. Potential implications for theory, psychotherapy training, and psychotherapeutic work with others in this client group are discussed. An examination of how the findings may be considered within a wider social context follows, along with concluding suggestions for future research.

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  • Agility framework for software development: An investigation into agility concepts in the software development industry

    Kusuma, Kevin

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Context: With agile software development, agile values and principles (stated in the agile manifesto) may lead to agility with software development. In this study, agile organization concepts are investigated through the survey method with agile software development to identify agile practices that will support agile values and principles to guide adoption and adaptation of agile processes and method practices for achieving agility. Objective: This thesis shows agile organization concepts are influencing agile software development through practices to support agile values and principles to help shape the agile development environment for teams to achieve software development agility. Through this study, eight agile organization concepts (knowledge management, organizational culture, organizational learning, competencies, responsiveness, speed, team effort and workforce agility) and their relating agile practices are identified for driving the agile software development environment for agility. Method: A quantitative approach involving the survey method was used for this investigation. The survey questions were developed and tested based on the literature review on agile organizations and agile software development. A list of possible participants, consisting of agile software development practitioners (software vendors, in-house software development teams of business organizations or institutions and software development contracting companies) was compiled, and they were invited to take part in this investigation. The statistical analysis tool, SmartPLS was used to conduct the analysis of the data collected. Results: The research reveals eight (8) agile organization concepts that are critical factors driving agile software development for achieving agility. The results of the survey identify organizational learning as the most critical agile organization concept for agility. Hence, learning relating to product development and management in a software development environment is as critical as producing the actual software. Through the survey results, based on the eight agile organization concepts, a number of agile software development practices have been identified which can guide adoption and adaptation of agile method practices for gaining agility with software development. Conclusion: This study investigated the agile organization concepts that influence agility capability in the software development environment. From this investigation, it can be concluded that agile organization concepts must be recognized as critical for shaping agile values and principles, so that achieving agility with software development is reinforced as the mind-set for agile method practitioners.

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  • Aue`anga Ngakau - Silent Tears. The impact of colonisation on traditional adoption lore in the Cook Islands: Examining the status of Tamariki `Angai and their entitlements

    Charlie-Puna, Diane

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The traditional adoption practice of tamariki `āngai was widely practiced in the Cook Islands by our ancestors. Tamariki `āngai is the highest respected gift that anyone could ever give to a close relative. Commonly a grandchild is gifted to his or her grandparents by their biological parents as their way of honouring their parents. It is a traditional custom which was exercised well before the colonisation of the Cook Islands. This study focuses on the colonisation of the traditional adoption practice of tamariki `āngai and examines the status of Cook Islands tamariki `āngai on the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Of particular interest are the contributing factors and reasons for a child to go through the tamariki `āngai practice and how the papa’a (non-Māori) adoption law, as a result of colonisation, has influenced the status and entitlements of tamariki `āngai. This study also looks at the traditional allocation of inheritance, land and traditional title entitlements of the tamariki `āngai. In the pre-colonial era, having a large family in a tribal setting was paramount for survival purposes, for food gathering, hunting, providing security to the tribe, and multiplying the population of the tribe through child birth. Accordingly, the traditional practice of tamariki `āngai was a means of ensuring heirship within the tribe and embracing inter-tribal sharing of children to mark allegiances with each other. The tamariki `āngai practice endured even after the introduction of non-Māori legislation to formalise the arrangement through the Land Court as stipulated by the Cook Islands Act 1915. The influence of non-Māori customs may have contributed to the modern perception and interpretation of the adoption practice. Subsequently, family disputes over birth rights, land rights and other entitlements is a result of the overlap of the two adoption frameworks. The field work data was gathered from in-depth interviews and represents the views of the participants and traditional advisors. ‘Silent tears’ depicts the sensitiveness of the adoption practices especially when the adoption of non-blood related children were allowed through legislation and is often a topic that most families avoid open conversation about. The tamariki `āngai practice is traditionally an open arrangement, yet some choose to keep it a secret which often haunts them later in life once the child discovers the truth. This study explores the perceptions, views and experiences of several tamariki `āngai, it provides insights into the adoption experience, and identifies those characteristics which support and sustain tamariki `āngai. This approach contrasts with the papa’a literature on adoptions because the tamariki `āngai experience is embedded in Cook Island Māori cultural beliefs and practices.

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  • Counsellors’ strength-based practices in secondary schools: Managing multiple metanarratives

    Bright, Charmaine

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Secondary school counsellors are often in a pivotal position to affect the lives of our young people and thus the philosophical framework and counselling modalities which inform and influence their practice are significant. This research explores the contribution school counsellors make towards positive youth development using strength-based counselling practices through the lens of a narrative methodology. Strength-based counselling draws from the ethos of positive psychology and focuses on promoting an adolescent’s strengths to enhance their wellbeing rather than focusing on limitations and problems. Most research into strength-based counselling focuses on the wellbeing of adults. Positive outcomes among youth and how these are achieved have received less attention. It is thus important to explore the role counsellors’ strength-based practices play in managing adolescents wellbeing, especially given the high incidence of youth suicide in New Zealand (Mental Health Foundation, 2017; Ministry of Health, 2016). To this end, counsellors in secondary schools in Auckland, New Zealand, were interviewed using semi-structured interviews to elicit their narratives on strength-based counselling. The aims of the research were: To examine the multiple metanarratives available to counsellors in a secondary school context; to make sense of how these metanarratives construct strength-based counselling practices; to examine the potential influence of these constructions on co-creating adolescent wellbeing; and to explore the broader community’s influence on a counsellor’s practice. A distinct method of narrative analysis evolved in two stages: Narrative storyboards for form and content; and Narrative storyboards for context and metanarratives. These storyboards each reflect a different aspect of a counsellor’s narrative thereby adding a depth and richness to the interpretation process. The construction of this method of analysis drew on the research of a selection of authors who engage with narrative as theory and practice (Crossley, 2000; Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, & Zilber, 1998; Zilber, Tuval-Mashiach, & Lieblich, 2008). Multiple metanarratives vie for counsellors’ attention and their adherence to their preferred metanarrative are erratic; drawing intermittently on both the traditional deficit metanarrative of the counselling profession as well as the strength metanarrative of strength-based counselling. The meanings counsellors assign to these metanarratives and the educational/counselling theories and school/systemic policies that underpin them may either encourage or discourage strength-based counselling in schools. This thesis further introduces a model for co-creating adolescent wellbeing using a strength-based counselling approach. Drawing from counsellors’ narratives and counselling processes this model for co-creating adolescent wellbeing may assist counsellors in a practical way: it provides school counsellors with a foundation from which to think about their practice in a strength-based manner but without ignoring existing issues and inherent tensions. This study is uniquely set in a New Zealand context and makes a contribution to our understanding of the diverse, complex and multifaceted nature of school counsellors’ strength-based practices in secondary schools. By acknowledging the multiple metanarratives that support and/or diminish a school counsellor’s practice, being mindful of the contexts school counsellors negotiate, and embracing the understandings that can be gleaned from their narratives, we may be more able to enhance our ability to address the prevalence of mental health issues for adolescents and enhance adolescent wellbeing.

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  • Acute, short- and medium-term cardiometabolic outcomes of high-intensity interval training compared to moderate-intensity continuous training in men living with type 2 diabetes

    Wormgoor, Shohn Gerhard

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a progressive disease, requiring the adoption of behaviours to help delay the progression of life-threatening diabetic complications. Literature indicates high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as a suitable option, in the short-term, for pursuing improved cardiometabolic health in individuals with T2D. However, no randomised controlled trial (RCT) has been conducted using HIIT combined with resistance training (HIIT+RT) to determine the glycaemic control and markers of macro- and microvascular complication effects in people with T2D - nor compared the durability of such effects. The study aimed to compare the acute, short- and medium-term effects of HIIT+RT to moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT+RT), on glucose control and diabetic complication markers. My study recruited T2D men about to exercise in a real-world setting and, firstly, compared the acute physiological responses (APR) to a HIIT+RT or MICT+RT session; secondly, compared the short-term effects of a 12-week structured intervention of either HIIT+RT or MICT+RT on glucose control and complication markers; and finally, compared the medium-term durability of benefits from such training interventions after a 6-month follow-up. Twenty-three men having moderate-duration T2D presented as sedentary, class II obese (≥35.0 kg/m2), and while taking prescribed medications had elevated glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and were pre-hypertensive. Participants performed supervised MICT+RT (progressing to 26-min at 55% maximum estimated workload [eWLmax]) or HIIT+RT (progressing to two variations in which twelve 1-min bouts at 95% eWLmax interspersed with 1-min recovery bouts, alternated with eight 30-sec bouts at 120% eWLmax interspersed with 2:15 min recovery bouts). In assessing the APR, peak heart rate, workload and perceived exertion were higher for HIIT+RT (P=0.04, P0.05). However, there were acute exaggerated responses (using exercise termination indicators) reported to a similar extent (P=0.39) for both MICT+RT (64%) and HIIT+RT (36%) participants. To account for fixed and random effects within the study sample, mixed-effect models were used to determine significance of change and to evaluate group*time interactions. Beyond improvements in aerobic capacity (P0.05) while experiencing benefits for HbA1c (P=0.01), subcutaneous adiposity (P<0.001) were significantly maintained in both groups at the 6-month follow-up. In addition, during the interventions, SPs in both MICT+RT and HIIT+RT experienced favourable reductions in medication usage. The study reported inter-individual variability of change, exaggerated physiological responses and the precautionary respite afforded to the participants. The findings appear to indicate that, over the short- or medium-term, HIIT+RT is not superior to MICT+RT for the improvements experienced in both groups for HbA1c, subcutaneous adiposity and heart rate variability. This indicates that current guidelines are efficacious and exercise professionals can be confident including MICT+RT (cognisant of appropriate supervision) into their training prescriptions to help men with T2D reduce the progression of macro- and microvascular complication markers.

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