13,477 results for Masters, All rights reserved

  • Aura of the Past: The Rehabilitation of ‘Puhipuhi Mercury Mine’

    Jackson, Nicola (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Through the development of the case site ‘Puhipuhi Mercury Mines’ this design led thesis presents the fusion of ruins with new design, aiming to rehabilitate the site and its history. The delicate nature of the site’s past and its remaining relics present the potential to curate a history. The method of integrating old and new design to reestablish value is explored. Puhipuhi mine has a negative reputation today. Documented memories focus on the mine's industrial downfall and remaining areas of contamination. This has dampened its prospects. The case site has remained dormant since its closure in 1945 (Butcher). With political controversy surrounding the site, and with natural growth dominating the remains, it has become virtually inaccessible. The challenge presented by the characteristics of the site poses the following research question: ‘How can the fusion of old and new architecture add value to a forgotten and contaminated historic site as a means to preserve its history and rehabilitate it for current day use?’ Abandoned elements which lay dormant in our landscape have the opportunity to be valued as iconic elements in New Zealand's history, yet we are hesitant to seek appreciation for the narratives of their past and as a result we are presented with the possibility of historic loss. The site's processing plant presents a need to preserve its architectural heritage and document its history as a means to re mediate the damage of contamination and the devalue that has generated since the closure of the program. Attention is needed to establish it as the beautiful landscape, intriguing remains and educational opportunity that it has the potential to become. Through the establishment of age, historic and use values, new programmes are constructed: a toxicity museum and laboratory.

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  • Investigating the evolution of mRNA : ncRNA avoidance in escherichia coli.

    Perry, Jasper J. (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    It is presumed that the levels of mRNA and protein should correlate relatively strongly however this correlation is often quite poor. Two main explanations have been invoked to explain this discrepancy, messenger RNA (mRNA) secondary structure and codon usage bias, however, these explanations only account for around 40% of the total variation in expression levels. More recently a new model has been proposed that explains more of the variation in mRNA and protein levels than either codon usage or mRNA secondary structure. The mRNA: ncRNA avoidance model, presents evidence that non-specific interactions between non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and mRNAs significantly impact the discrepancy between mRNA and protein abundances. The model suggests that these crosstalk interactions between mRNAs and ncRNAs impact levels of mRNA translation, consequently genes that are highly-expressed demonstrate avoidance of such interactions. Here I present a study that investigates how highly expressed mRNAs may have evolved to avoid unintentional interactions with the abundant ncRNAs in the cell. Synonymous variants of the araC gene of E. coli were designed for increased interaction with core ncRNAs. These alterations were predicted to lead to down regulation of the AraC protein and subsequently impact fitness. We hypothesised that evolution of avoidance could then be driven by creating a selective pressure for high expression of araC, such that the affinity of the designed araC mRNAs for ncRNAs would be lessened to increase translation levels. The findings here demonstrate that the alterations made to the araC variants, which are in line with the avoidance model, have an undetectable effect on fitness in E. coli. Furthering our understanding of how this phenomenon may have evolved has significant implications for the biology of RNA-RNA interaction.

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  • Safety outcomes associated with new employee classification : the impact of expectations and experience.

    Drysdale, Jessica (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Health and safety in New Zealand is an important issue in many aspects of organisational functioning, the intention of this research is to contribute to this field. This research focuses on new employees, and how their different experiences and safety expectations may lead to various safety outcomes. This study analysed 5 hypotheses to extract evidence to support differences between 4 new employee types. These employee types are classified as school leavers, career transition, career focused and occupational focused, which are predicted to differ in terms of previous workplace experience and safety expectations. The hypotheses focused on 5 important outcome variables. These were; speed of familiarization, perceived job risk and safety risk, met safety expectations, accident/injury frequency and safety communication frequency which were predicted to vary across the different new employee groups. Results showed partial support for hypotheses involving speed of familiarisation, met safety expectations and safety communication frequency. No considerable support was found for perceived job risk, safety risk and accident/injury frequency. Implications for organisations and induction processes are included in the discussion.

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  • Provenance and porosity analysis of the Greymouth Basin, New Zealand.

    Steadman, Ryan David (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The coal and lacustrine deposits of the Greymouth Basin have been explored for their economic potential. However, the associated coarse clastic sediments have not been as thoroughly investigated. Thus, there is continuing uncertainty about the provenance of the sediments and tectonic setting of the basin. This study uses conglomerate clast counts, sandstone point counts and geochemical analyses of clasts to examine the provenance of the Paparoa Group. Results show a dramatic eastern vs western lithological difference with conglomerates primarily on the west side of the basin, sandstones on the east, and mudstones inter-fingering both. The clasts encountered were predominantly metasedimentary with granite, hornfels, and rare unusual volcanic clasts. Aplite was recorded in the lowermost conglomerates and faded out with the introduction of granitic clasts in the middle Paparoa Group. Trace element geochemistry on basaltic clasts in the basin shows a tholeiitic composition, a typical rift signature. Geochemistry analysis of the granites was inconsistent with either Rahu or Karamea Suite granites and best fits a new A-type granite, low barium (<5 to 80ppm) and Strontium (18 to 42 ppm), located somewhere offshore. The sandstone porosity was variable ranging from 1% to 37% with grainsize, location and stratigraphic position in the basin. The degree of weathering in the sandstones was also variable with feldspar alteration ranging from minor to major clays (5% to 30%). Provenance and Geochemistry analysis show the sediment sources of the basin changed throughout time with results showing two main sources, an eastern granitic source, likely Buckland granite and the western Greenland Group metasedimentary sources. This contradicts some previous interpretations. Clast counts also show evidence for the un-roofing of a granitic source with the presence of aplite clasts lower in the basin conglomerates replaced by granite clasts stratigraphically higher. The volcanic clasts are evidence of active volcanism in the area which could be attributed to the rift setting. Porosity in the sandstones was variable with some good hydrocarbon reservoir potential. The lack of trap and cap rock in the Greymouth Basin being an issue. The Takutai Basin offshore contains similar sediments and

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  • Haptic contact in immersive 360° cinematic environment.

    Sasikumar, Prasanth (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    We perceive the environment around us using the five senses that are categorized as visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory and gustatory. A considerable amount of work has been done in the audio-visual domain compared to the rest. With new head-mounted displays in the consumer market, immersive VR is becoming ubiquitous and by adding additional sensory feedback, we aim to enhance the user experience and increase presence in Virtual Environments. There has been previous research on haptic interfaces. This thesis explored how haptic feedback in the form of wearable feedback (vest based) and non-wearable (ground vibrations and wind simulations) interfaces influences the feeling of presence in 360° cinematic environments. Prototypes of wearable and non-wearable interfaces were designed as part of a simulation system to experience a 360° cinematic experience with feedback. A user study was carried out to investigate how the sense of presence varies due to the inclusion of haptic feedback. The study also compared wearable and non-wearable interfaces in terms of sense of presence. From the analysis of the results, though we were not able to find any significant difference in the sense of presence between wearable and non-wearable feedback, a significant improvement in sense of presence, realism, involvement and overall immersion was observed with the inclusion of haptic feedback to the 360° cinematic environment.

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  • Consumers' attitudes and behaviours toward the sponsors of a football club.

    Balcazar Cruz, Rodrigo Sebastian (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis aims to investigate whether people’s attitudes and behaviours toward certain types of commercial brands change when these, become a sponsoring partner of a well-known international football club. Specifically, this thesis uses the context of the football industry to examine whether sponsoring a football team has any effect on individuals’ attitudes toward the sponsors and purchase intentions of commercial brands. A full-factorial design experiment is the approach chosen for this research. The research will employ an experiment 4x2 between subjects, full factorial design to test what effect different sponsors’ brands such as functional, innovative, high and low involvement with and/or without an associated to a football club have on individuals’ attitudes, behaviours and purchase intentions toward the commercial brands. Further, in the experiment participants were exposed to one of the eight possible conditions, which were presented as modified print advertisements. A total of 240 responses were collected through online convenience sampling on social platforms including Facebook, Pollpool and SurveyCircle. Factorial ANCOVA and linear regression analyses were conducted to test the hypothesised effects. The results indicated that the type of sponsor does not affect attitude toward the sponsor and purchase intentions. It is also showed that attachment to a club has a significant effect on attitude toward the sponsor. Moreover, being associated with a football club affects the consumers’ purchase intentions. Both theoretically and practical implications of these findings, alongside directions for future research, are discussed.

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  • The perspectives of physiotherapists in Canterbury on the use of electronic health records.

    Chen, Cheng-Wei (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The preferential use of electronic health records (EHRs) over other types of health record systems within healthcare settings in the 21st century is well documented (Buyl & Nyssen, 2009; Hailey, Yu, & Munyisia, 2014; Latha, Murthy, Sunitha, 2012; Menachemi & Collum, 2011; Walker & Clendon, 2016); however, there is a lack of research on the perspectives of EHR end-users, such as physiotherapists, towards EHRs, especially in New Zealand. The literature review provided insight on the importance of identifying the many perspectives that different end-user health professionals have towards the implementation and use of EHRs. Factors that will ultimately lead to the success of the New Zealand Government’s plan to introduce a national EHR system consistent with the Digital Health 2020 strategic plan are identifying what health professionals perceive as advantageous and disadvantageous in EHR use, designing an EHR with the perspectives of health professionals in mind, and involving the many health professions during EHR implementation processes. The objective of this study was to explore the perspectives of the Canterbury-based physiotherapists on the implementation and use of EHRs. The study also investigated other potential factors including age, awareness of the Digital Health 2020 strategic plan, computer usage, educational background, and the sector of healthcare that physiotherapists are working in that may influence their perspectives towards EHRs.

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  • Keeping up with young people and a changing counselling environment : exploring the use of between session text messages to support face-to-face counselling.

    Gribbin, George (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Solution focused brief therapy [SFBT] is a strengths-based, future focused, goal oriented therapy that originated in the United States (De Jong & Berg, 2012). There is considerable research that demonstrates the effectiveness of the therapy’s main tenets; co-construction of client-led directions, amplification of positive change and instances of success (Nelson, Welsh, Trup, & Greenberg, 2011). Some research highlights the helpfulness of specific SFBT techniques such as miracle question (Jones-Smith, 2011), exceptions (Henson, 2015) and between session tasks (Jones-Smith, 2011). Most research, however, uses standard writing and talking as data. Less common is the inclusion of electronic platforms for conducting SFBT. This research primarily focuses on between session tasks by exploring whether the use of text messages can support a client to complete such tasks. Four New Zealand co-educational high school students from Year 11 to Year 13 volunteered to attend four counselling sessions which were recorded on a Dictaphone and transcribed. At the end of each session the clients and the counsellor co-constructed text messages that the counsellor would send to them between sessions. Throughout the research, the text messages were examined to determine whether they supported SFBT principles and transcripts of participants’ feedback about the usefulness of the text messages were analysed thematically. The main findings were that using text messages fits very well with the intention of SFBT to promote client autonomy. Furthermore, co-construction of text messages enabled the counsellor to use appropriate client language when contacting the client between sessions. Both findings suggest the use of text messages when working with high school clients enables them to engage with counselling and focus on their own goals between sessions. This research adds to the literature on; Solution Focused Brief Therapy in high school settings, New Zealand specific Solution Focused Brief Therapy research and combining technology with face-to-face counselling practice.

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  • The lek breeding system of the Kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus): the role of vocalisations in female mate choice and kin clustering on leks

    Kelman, Emma (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    For a species to succeed, individuals must be able to attract a mate. The method in which they do this is known as a breeding system and it involves a diverse array of social behaviours. A lek breeding system is employed by some polygynous species and is characterised by aggregations of males that females visit primarily for breeding purposes. This results in strong sexual selection pressures on the lek, as males compete for females and females ‘choose’ between males. The kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus) is a critically endangered, nocturnal parrot, endemic to New Zealand. Kākāpō are also the only species of parrot with a lek breeding system but female kākāpō only breed every two to five years in response to the masting of rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) trees. Male kākāpō acoustically and visually display on the lek and are subsequently visited by females. Acoustic displays are an effective method of communication, as components of this display can convey information to females about the quality of a male, thus informing her mate choice. However, little is known about the role that vocalisations play in female kākāpō mate choice or why some males are more successful than others. The first objective of this research was to characterise the three main vocalisations of kākāpō (booms, chings, and skraaks) and investigate their role in female mate choice by analysing the relationship between acoustic parameters and life history traits of male kākāpō using recordings of their vocalisations. Most parameters of vocalisations were not reliable indicators of identity, nor were parameters of vocalisations associated with male reproductive success. Duration and inter-boom/ching duration were the only parameters with sufficient individual variation to signal for identity, but individuals could not be discriminated between based on these two parameters. Vocalisations did not appear to function as honest indicators of age, weight, or origin based on the linear features analysed in this study. There were differences in the dialect of Fiordland kākāpō and Rakiura/Stewart Island and Whenua Hou/Codfish Island kākāpō, but not between those from Rakiura and Whenua Hou. There were temporal patterns between booming and chinging and vocalisations changed over the course of the breeding season. Non-linear phenomena were only present at low frequencies in chings and skraaks. Therefore, the role of male kākāpō vocalisations in female mate choice is still unclear. If vocalisations are not honest signals, females may be using different criteria to select a mate. However, if females are able to recognise males based on the duration and inter-boom/ching duration parameters, they could become attuned to their preferred male, explaining the prevalent skew in reproductive success. A skew in reproductive success is common on leks, which is known as the lek-skew paradox. There are several models, such as the hotspot and hotshot model, that seek to explain why males still gather on a lek despite little or no chance of breeding, which both conclude that males have a greater chance of breeding by gathering on a lek than they would have displaying alone, resolving the lek-skew paradox. Alternatively, males could indirectly benefit by gathering on a lek to increase the reproductive success of a relative (kin selection). However, kākāpō have low genetic diversity, and clustering with kin on a lek could further reduce this. The second objective of this thesis was to investigate the possibility of kin clustering on kākāpō leks using genetic relatedness coefficients. It appears that male kākāpō do not cluster with their kin, and instead, simply migrate to the lek closest to their winter home range whereas female kākāpō visit the largest lek. Both male and female kākāpō also exhibit strong site fidelity and male breeding activity is correlated with the mast level of rimu. Therefore, male kākāpō are not gaining indirect benefits by breeding on a lek and must be gaining direct benefits by exhibiting lekking behaviour, however, what these direct benefits may be is still unknown. When the models used to justify the lek-skew paradox are applied to kākāpō, one single model cannot completely explain this behaviour. It is more likely that a combination of factors are responsible for the maintenance of lekking behaviour in the kākāpō. This study highlights the importance of understanding breeding systems, as this information can have a critical role in the management and conservation of endangered species.

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  • A matter of habit? Early life stress and cognitive flexibility in infants

    Taylor, Catherine (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The long-term associations between chronic early life stress such as maltreatment, and cognitive functioning are well documented. However, less is known about the relation between early life stress exposure through experiences of more common potentially stressful life events such as parental separation or moving to a new house, and specific aspects of cognitive functioning in the short term. Cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to shift between response strategies and employ alternative strategies. It is an important ability for successful adaption to changing or novel situations. Previous research has shown that under acute stress, 15-month-old infants display elevated levels of rigid behaviour, being less likely to disengage from performing a habitual action that is no longer effective than their non-stressed counterparts. The present study explores the relation between experiences of potentially stressful early life events and infants’ tendency to display this pattern of behaviour that is, cognitive flexibility. Thirty-one 14- to 16-month-old infants participated in an instrumental learning task in their own homes. The task involved the infants initially learning to push two buttons. Each button lit up and produced its own distinct sound when pushed. Next, to establish a habit of button pushing (habit-acquisition), infants were allowed to push one of the buttons until they did not push the button for a period of time (10-s). Finally, at test, infants were given access to both buttons. Pushing the buttons did not result in any light or sound effects. Infants’ behaviour during test was assessed. Increased engagement with the habituated button relative to engagement with both buttons was taken as a measure of reduced cognitive flexibility. Participants’ caregivers indicated the number and severity of any potentially stressful life events that had occurred for the family during the prenatal and postnatal period. Analyses revealed no significant associations between frequency or severity of stressful life events – experienced during the prenatal or postnatal period – and rigid habitual behaviour in infants. This suggests that potentially stressful early life events do not necessarily lead to higher levels of rigid behaviour in infants. Possible explanations of the present findings are discussed.

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  • Experiences of women returning to work after maternity leave

    Sriram, Divya (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    With an increase in the number of women in the workforce, numerous studies have looked at the importance of parental leave and benefits of cash, predictors of postpartum depression, and how they affect women, handling work-family conflict, family friendly policies and many more. Of particular interest for many working women is research looking at working mothers and the issues that have an impact on mothers. Longer duration of leave has been shown to have numerous physical and mental health benefits for the mother and the child, such as mother-infant attachment. Similarly, workplace support and work-life balance were found beneficial for working mothers. This study investigates factors such as work-life balance, social support, length of maternity leave and mental health. It explores both the positive and negative impacts these factors have on mothers and their babies once mothers return to work. The study used a qualitative methodology, interviewing 11 working mothers. The participants had returned to work within the last three years, some as recent as four weeks, at the time of the interview. Participants had at least one child under the age of four. The sample of working mothers included most of the mothers working full-time, some working part-time and one mother working as self-employed. Template analysis was used to analyze the interview transcripts. Analysis revealed that working mothers returned to work for myriad reasons after having been on government aided maternity leave. Work-life balance policies like reduced hours and returning part-time initially for some mothers were found along with an understanding supervisor and supportive colleagues. In conclusion, working mothers desired longer leave citing their need to bond with the baby as one of the reason. Mothers had satisfactory support from family, friends and workplace. In addition to the government mandated parental leave policies, working mothers found a lack of information on any additional policies offered by their organizations and preferred more communication on them.

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  • Pokemon Go - What's behind the hype?

    Ahmad, Anna

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Pokémon Go, the augmented reality mobile game phenomenon, swept the world by storm in what seemed to be overnight, as it broke app and play store download history with 10 million downloads in the first week of its release on 6th July 2016. For the next few months after its release it dominated both the online and offline world with its presence. However, this dominating presence was short lived, with a lot of players no longer playing. The purpose of this research was to investigate what motivated people to play Pokémon Go and what sustained their original participation with the game, as well as to explore the reasons/motives that caused players to stop playing the game. This research explored the psychological constructs that determined a person’s willingness to engage in the game, and also the underlying motives that kept them playing and what then caused them to stop. A qualitative research approach was used, involving in-depth interviews with 10 Pokémon Go players varying in gender and age, who identified as being engaged with the game during the hype. The findings revealed that the motivation for engaging with Pokémon Go was fundamentally a social aspect which initiated a sense of belonging for the players relative to the hype. Players sought pleasure through game playing, as the game was exciting, and also provided players with nostalgia from their prior affinity to the Pokémon brand. A sense of achievement, a mode for killing time, and players entering a state of flow was also recorded. The findings of this research provide insight into how an online game or any other pastime may repeat a fad and exhibit a rapid fall in popularity after some time of enthusiastic participation. This study shows that the rapid decline of Pokemon Go participation can be attributed to a deterioration in the many factors that initially caused the upsurge of enthusiasm for the game. Those factors included a loss of novelty for the game, social influence to stop playing, technical issues, game feature issues, and players feeling the game was no longer worth the effort. Other factors such as players exhibiting no prior affinity to the Pokemon brand and an overpromised game trailer also contributed to the rapid decline of player participation with the game. These findings offer both practical and theoretical implications in regards to why players stopped playing Pokémon Go, as all of the participants who were interviewed fell under this category.

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  • Student perceptions of accessibility to leadership within the secondary school context

    Emerson, Susan

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    It is widely recognised that leadership development and opportunities are essential for youth to initiate positive change across peer groups, school, families, and communities (Bowman, 2013; Funk; 2002; Lizzio, Dempster & Neumann, 2011). Nonetheless, many schools and youth organisations provide leadership opportunities for some young people, and not others. Some schools present leadership opportunities through formal positions only and students do not realise there are other opportunities available to them that will contribute to their development (Lizzio et al., 2011; Mitra, 2005; Whitehead, 2009). Despite this, empirical work focusing on youth access to leadership is limited, as are studies that ‘make heard’ the student voice (Bowman, 2013; Funk; 2002; Lizzio et al., 2011). This study is positioned within the body of knowledge that recognises leadership as both formal and informal influence. Jackson and Parry (2011) capture the elements of leadership in defining it as an influence relationship between leaders and followers, focusing on authentic changes and outcomes that reflect shared purpose. In drawing on this positioning of leadership, the aim of this study is to investigate student perceptions of accessibility to leadership within the secondary school context. This overall aim is supported by three sub-questions. How do students perceive and understand leadership? What do students say about access to leadership opportunities in the secondary school context? How can leadership opportunities be more accessible for more students in secondary schools? The research paradigm chosen for this study is both constructivist and interpretivist (Bryman, 2008; Denzin & Lincoln, 2005). Thus, the study seeks to draw on the multiple realities of the participants by understanding how their perception of leadership may provide insight to increasing access to leadership for a broader group of students. In seeking to contribute to the emerging body of knowledge in the secondary school context, student perceptions of accessibility to leadership were sought through a case study approach in two secondary schools. Semi-structured group interviews (n=6 group; 12 in total), a questionnaire (n=100), and supporting documents (n=4) drew multiple points of view highlighting the importance of the student voice (Harris, 2008). The study findings revealed that to increase accessibility to leadership for students requires a shift in thinking towards believing that everyone is capable of some form of leadership and that leadership opportunities may be offered both formally and informally. While formal leadership roles produce benefits, they have been criticised for not being inclusive of the whole student body (Lizzio et al., 2011; Mitra, 2005; Whitehead, 2009). With this in mind, there is a challenge for educators to find ways to help students to redefine leadership so that it is no longer the domain of a selected few. According to the students in this study, leadership experiences are a unique way to develop young people for the future. To realise the value of leadership for all young people this study has identified some key levers for change: simplify, provide all students with at least one opportunity to experience leadership, and redefine leadership as helping others. Students suggested educators look to a broader group of students and offer both formal and informal leadership experiences based on the concept of helping others. Students felt that the notion of leadership opportunities being more available and, coupled with the idea that leadership is about helping people, will provide an accessible way of approaching leadership. Furthermore, there are gains to be had in involving young people in the planning of their own leadership and, as a result, to engage and connect them in leadership (Hine, 2014; McNae, 2011). Leadership learning in secondary schools that is co-designed with the students has the potential to provide the ideal intervention to offer some answers to the critical themes that have arisen in this research study.

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  • How New Zealand schools manage the transition of disabled students leaving secondary education: A multiple-case study

    Fraser, Cameron Stuart (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The transition from secondary education to post-secondary life is a difficult one for students with intellectual disabilities. Schools are key to the preparation and management of this transition. There is little New Zealand (NZ) research on the transition of disabled students and lack of examples of effective practice. A multiple-case study was used to investigate the transition practices of three schools teaching disabled students with ORS (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme) funding. Qualitative data was collected through interviews and observations of staff members. Findings were that the schools began the process by no later than the students being 16-years-old and ensured the student and family were at the centre of the planning. Schools taught a combination of functional life skills and self-determination skills. Community inclusion was practiced through work experience and visits to potential future environments. Common post-school barriers in transition included reduced support and few opportunities. A forthcoming government review of ORS funding for disabled students aged 18-21, highlights the need for future research to investigate these post-school barriers.

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  • The Reproductive Biology of Deep-Sea Elasmobranchs and Batoids from Chatham Rise and the Sub-Antarctic Region of New Zealand

    Dutilloy, Adèle (2018)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The reproductive biology of thirteen poorly studied deep-sea elasmobranch species, on Chatham Rise and the Sub-Antarctic region of New Zealand, was assessed. The study species are all commonly caught as bycatch in commercial fisheries and include: three viviparous species (Centroselachus crepidater, Centrophorus squamosus, Deania calcea), five deep-sea catsharks (Apristurus spp.), and five deep-sea batoid species. However, due to a lack of knowledge on their general biology, ecology, and taxonomy – the impact of fishing on these species is unknown. A species’ resilience to fishing pressure depends on its biological productivity and susceptibility to capture. Accurate assessment of maturity is critical to understanding productivity and the effects of fishing pressure on fished stocks. Maturity is commonly assessed macroscopically, using a visual assessment that lacks precision and relies on subjective judgement. The wide array of macroscopic maturity assessment keys, used internationally, employ various sets of characteristics to define the same reproductive processes, which can lead to errors and inconsistencies in maturity assessment and parameter estimates (e.g. length-at-maturity), making direct comparisons between studies difficult. Objective reproductive measurements (oviducal gland size, follicle size, uterus width, follicle number and gonad weight) were used to assess the validity and quality of the macroscopic maturity staging key used in New Zealand, towards determining the onset of maturity and accurately distinguishing between macroscopic stages. The results showed that no single measurement gave a clear-cut indicator of maturity and some fish classified as ‘maturing’ were very likely ‘mature’. Uterus width, follicle size and gonadosomatic index values were found to be the most useful attributes in determining the onset of maturity. Uterus width and follicle size were also useful in determining differences between different macroscopic stages, whilst gonadosomatic index values were useful in distinguishing between reproductive strategies. Histological observations, with a particular focus on sperm storage, were also used to inform the quality of macroscopic maturity assignment. Sperm storage was observed for the first time in Centroselachus crepidater, Centrophorus squamosus and Brochiraja asperula. This study successfully highlighted problems in the macroscopic maturity assessment key currently used in New Zealand and proposes an improved, more objective macroscopic staging key. The improved key aims: 1) to assist in distinguishing between maturity stages, particularly between stage 2 (maturing), stage 2 (resting) and stage 6 (post-partum) females, by examining the same key reproductive structures across all macroscopic stages, and 2) to provide more representative maturity data for use in fisheries and demographic models, for more robust assessment of the impacts of fishing pressure on poorly studied deep-sea chondrichthyans.

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  • Examining the perceived risks of contactless card acceptance in the New Zealand market

    McMillan, James (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Contactless payment is a modern addition to transaction technology and has gained traction in New Zealand through the advent of contactless bank cards. Consumers no longer require security PINs for low value transactions which creates faster payments and reduces queuing times. However, reduced security has given rise to card theft, fraudulent transactions and criticism from consumers who feel they have little control over payment instruments. Despite ample academic attention given towards contactless pay via smartphones, few studies have explored contactless cards which are a drain on global economies due to interchange fees. Policy makers, retailing unions and global payment networks are debating the merits of fee regulations that are dependent on consumer acceptance. Hence, this study empirically measures consumer acceptance of contactless cards which informs stakeholders of their likely trajectory and highlights potential for prospective markets. Partial least squares structural equation modelling is used in conjunction with technology acceptance and risk perception theories to formulate a proposed model fit for measuring intent to use. A questionnaire is constructed using repurposed measures reflecting latent perceptions that possess demonstrated relevance in relation to contactless pay technologies. Results from 587 respondents show that acceptance is strongly influenced by perceived security, overall risk, trust and usefulness. New Zealand consumers are largely positive towards use whilst younger cohorts are the most likely to accept. The proposed model is suitable for reapplication in prospective markets which aids scholars in measuring market receptivity of contactless cards.

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  • Examining listener reaction time as a measure of speech disorder

    Risi, R. A. (2018)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Historically, speech intelligibility has been the key measure of dysarthria severity, and both rating scales and orthographic transcription have been used as the primary forms of assessment. However, due to limitations in these measures, such as ceiling effects in transcriptions and subjective biases in rating scales, different forms of assessment are required to accurately assess speech severity in people with dysarthria. This study seeks to address these limitations by examining a new form of dysarthria assessment: listener reaction time. Listeners (one group of 16 younger adults, one of 16 older adults) performed three measures of speech intelligibility: a sentence transcription task, a rating scale task and reaction time task to veracity statements. These three measures were significantly correlated to one another, with reaction time accounting for 88% of the variance in transcription scores and 84% of the variance in the ratings of dysarthria provided by the younger listener group. Overall, the younger listeners produced significantly different reaction times when listening to speakers with dysarthria as compared to healthy control speakers. Reaction times between pairs of speakers (one with dysarthria, one control) were significantly different for all but the two speakers with the mildest dysarthria. In examining the older listener data, similar associations between assessment scores were found. However, the older listeners produced significantly longer reaction times than the younger group, and age and hearing loss were identified as significant factors for both reaction time and orthographic transcription.

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  • A usability comparison of canvas, topographic and street base maps.

    McPherson, Rory Ivan (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Basemaps are a fundamental component of most maps, and may affect the usability of the map. Cartographic guidelines recommend that map authors select a basemap appropriate for the map’s intended topic, scale, purpose, context of use and audience. Guidelines for selecting the basemap, however, are not well covered by the usability literature. Basemap usability research may determine how different basemaps affect the map’s usability. In turn, recommendations may be offered to map authors for selecting an optimal basemap type for the map, and the map user(s). In turn, the usability of the map may improve, as well as the users’ experience. This study presents a usability comparison of canvas, topographic and street basemaps. An online survey was designed to evaluate basemap usability. Survey respondents’ map reading abilities, and subjective preferences, were compared between each of the three basemap types. Comparisons were made across effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction usability metrics. In addition to basemap type, the survey examined how map scale, map complexity, map use tasks, and respondents’ mapping expertise affected map reading abilities. Survey results found that basemap type did not significantly affect map usability for search and search-along-route map use tasks. Larger map scales improved respondents’ map reading effectiveness, and map reading efficiency was significantly faster for respondents with greater mapping expertise. Map complexity and map use tasks had no significant effect on map reading performance. Basemap preference results show that respondents liked street basemaps the most, and canvas basemaps the least. The relationship between respondents’ map reading performance and basemap preferences was also contemplated, with avenues provided for future research.

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  • Continuous production and supercritical extraction of acetone, butanol and ethanol by Clostridium acetobutylicum fermentation.

    Ang, Chien Lue (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    A batch and continuous fermentation of Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 was tested for the production of acetone, butanol and ethanol. It was found that the batch process with a glucose-based medium supplemented with yeast extract grew reliably at 1-L scale at pH 5.0, 37 oC, inoculated with a seed meeting the criteria of pH 4.8 ± 0.7 and a glucose concentration of 9.6 ± 4.9 g/L, and producing 0.5 ±0.1% (w/w) final concentration of butanol. Seeds which do not meet these criteria do not reliably result in growth in production medium. A stable continuous fermentation was developed based on the batch process. The continuous fermentation without cell recycling ran stably at a dilution rate of 0.16 h-1 with a filter-sterilised feed medium, producing oscillating levels of butanol between 0% and 2%, as well as copious amounts of polysaccharide slime. As a solution to the issues faced by the continuous fermentation (incomplete conversion, large amounts of slime, and oscillating solvent production levels), a two-stage reactor is proposed, with potential for a commercial development of this fermentation with multiple stages. Multiple stages will allow the fermentation to run to completion, resolving all issues and producing the maximum yield of solvents. Supercritical extraction has been tested for the extraction of ABE from fermentation broth. It was determined to be unsuitable for solvent extraction at the present time. The extract concentrations reached up to 7.58% with very high variance, which is not sufficiently high to warrant further testing with a view to commercialisation.

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  • Professionalisation and industrial relations : the New Zealand Nurses Association in the 1960s

    Ford, Sonya (1992)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis examines the attempt by the New Zealand Registered Nurses Association to enhance nursing's professional status and its involvement in industrial relations in the 1960s. It is asserted that because nursing was a female-dominated occupation with a strong service ethic it would be very difficult for the Association to achieve its goal. After a long struggle the Association did increase its professional status as well as becoming more like a trade union. The first part of the thesis examines the professionalisation of nursing with regard to education and public relations. The second part deals with the Association's activities in industrial relations and its attitudes towards unionism.

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