13,305 results for Masters

  • The detection of biotic changes in the Tekapo riverbed after habitat restoration

    Sinclair, Lisa (1995)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

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  • Does the employment environment further disable people with disabilities? : a study of selected Christchurch employers and their perspectives of the employment situation for people with disabilities

    Studholme, Susan Jan (1994)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This study examined the employment experiences of people with disabilities and focused specifically on the service industries. In the research (predominantly overseas based) it has been noted that people with disabilities generally have greater difficulties obtaining and retaining employment and so are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Many factors contribute to this situation, but of particular interest to this study were the attitudes and behaviour of employers. Attitudes seemed to vary according to the type of disability and whether or not the employer had had experience of employing people with disabilities. Those with negative attitudes tended to behave in a more discriminatory manner. The discrimination shown to people with disabilities who seek employment has led to the recognition that they are part of what has been termed minority groups. Those groups will hopefully benefit from anti-discrimination legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1993. By means of a questionnaire, a selection of Christchurch employers were surveyed to see what the employment situation was for people with disabilities. The major findings were as follows. In relation to the attitude factors, employers with experience of employing people with disabilities generally displayed more positive attitudes than did those with no experience. Significantly more employers with experience expressed a greater willingness to employ people with disabilities, had incorporated disability into Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies, and were prepared to make modification to the workplace. However, there was little difference in the ratings given by employers regarding the importance of certain selection criteria, indicating that employers placed great importance on the selection criteria. Although not significant, attitudes were also found to vary according to the type of disability (obvious versus non-obvious) in relation to the position held by the employee with a disability. So those with obvious disabilities were less likely to have jobs which required face-to-face and phone contact with customers, clients or the public. General information on the employment of people with disabilities was also obtained. Occupations held by people with disabilities varied between men and women. Women with disabilities were more often in clerical positions, while men worked as technicians, associate professionals, plant and machine assemblers and elementary workers. Larger organisations were found to be more likely to employ people with disabilities. Even though employers with experience were generally more receptive to employing people with disabilities, some still held negative attitudes. It is fair to say that people with disabilities did experience difficulties in employment as a result of the employment environment. As EEO policies increase and anti-discrimination legislation is implemented, these problems will hopefully be addressed. However, it will take more than new laws and policies to change the employment situation faced by people with disabilities. Fundamental social, economic and political changes are called for if the constraints which society places on people with disabilities are to be overcome. In the meantime, these constraints have the effect of compounding the disablement of people with disabilities who seek employment.

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  • CUPS: The affective force of 'things' on learning and subjectivity in early childhood education.

    Towle, Bridgette (2017)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis inquires into the affective force of the material world on learning, subjectivity and creative expression in early childhood education. Inspired by Lenz Taguchi???s (2010a) notion of an intra-active pedagogy it (ad)ventures beyond the human-centrism of both cognitive development theory and social constructivist theory prevalent in Te Wh??riki (Ministry of Education, 1996), the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, to explore posthuman philosophies and theories associated with the ???material turn.??? Connections are made between new materialist feminist theory, Barad???s agential realist ontology, Deleuze and Guattari???s ontology of immanence, and Bennett???s theory of ???vital materiality??? in order to challenge habitual dualistic thinking, and to rethink material matter as immanent to lived practice and discursive meaning-making. In a move away from the positivist paradigms underpinning conventional qualitative research, the inquiry self-generates a new empirical performative process that transgresses the binary divides of science/philosophy and theory/practice. Its evolving performative process is activated and informed by a series of explorative and experimental ???acts??? that entangle onto-epistemological concepts and ideas with images/imaginings of cups, and cup~child happenings. Thus, the matter of the inquiry produces the process and vice versa. In an iterative process of moving and thinking-inthe- act, performative agentic matter ??? thoughts~concepts~cups~images~inquirer ??? merge and emerge in the mutual constitution of new and different ways of thinking and knowing-in-being. The performative inquiry culminates in creative acts of experimentation that unsettle boundaries between subject and object to generate a new ontological optics where the force of things, objects and artefacts matter in processes of transformational learning and becoming. Things are perceived as vibrant and agentic, and as existing in affective, material relationship with other matter, including humans. A relational material perspective generates the idea of an ethics of affection and a pedagogy of affection-ing that argues for the importance of sensing affective forces in-between things, people and places, what/whom/where is being made to matter (or not), and how educators can respond in affirmative, potentiating and inclusive ways.

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  • An exploratory study of the practice of corporate planning and programme budgeting in the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga: evidence from a central government agency

    Ma’afu, ‘Ana T. (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Purpose – This research explores how corporate planning and programme budgeting are practised by the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, focussing on their application by a central government agency, the Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC). It addresses how corporate planning and budgeting are linked in their practice by government agencies in Tonga and why. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative approach is used to conduct an exploratory study of how OPSC practised corporate planning and programme budgeting during the 2015/2016 financial year1 (FY). An interpretivist methodology is used to analyse both primary and secondary data that were gathered using primarily a method indigenous to Pacific research known as talanoa. Literature review, participant observation, and document analysis were used to supplement data from talanoa. Findings – The practice of corporate planning and budgeting by the Government of Tonga varies from the extensive applications documented in Western literature. Those involved in their practice are concerned with some but not all aspects of the processes depending on their positions and roles. While external consultants continually express frustrations with slow progress, indigenous government officials are somewhat confident that a lot of progress has been made. The research highlights that in the continuation of the use of corporate planning and budgeting, it must respond to prevailing needs of the country. Originality/value – There seems to be a lack of consideration of specific contexts (e.g. existing regulations, systems etc.) in the introduction and development of concepts, ideas and processes foreign to small island countries. An example is the practice of accounting and management practices termed corporate planning and programme budgeting into the Government of Tonga. There has not been any research conducted on this in the context of the Kingdom of Tonga. The research compares Western ideologies with Tongan indigenous views.

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  • The Poverty Bay massacre of 1868

    Black, Marjorie Edith Stuart (1935)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Digital copy stored under Section 55 of the NZ Copyright Act.

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  • Distribution of the likelihood ratio in fermi gamma ray models

    Roberts, Benjamin (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Gamma rays, the highest frequency component of the electromagnetic spectrum, are produced by the highest energy objects in the universe. The list of sources includes pulsars, active galactic nuclei, cosmic ray interactions, and as some have suggested dark matter. The Fermi Large Area Telescope was launched into orbit in 2008 to collect all-sky gamma ray data to investigate the mechanisms and sources that generate these particles. Models are fit to the data through the use of the maximum likelihood method, in which a statistical algorithm finds the most likely model parameters that generated the data. When comparing two models to the same data, the likelihood ratio is developed that gives an indication as to how well the models explain the data. In some problems, particularly in the detection of point sources against a background, it is of interest to compare the best fitting model to data with and without a point source present. In this case, the likelihood ratio that is used will determine whether there is a statistically significant source present. This study will motivate the use of the test statistic and examine the asymptotic distribution of the statistic when comparing models. This will then be extended to consider a multiband analysis of data, and how the test statistic used is distributed in these cases. Using Monte Carlo techniques, the asymptotic distributions of the test statistic will be validated. This will be achieved within the FermiTools suite using the Fermi Science Support Center recommended procedures in fitting models to gamma ray data.

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  • Data speaks: Predictors of success in tertiary education health study for M??ori and Pacific students

    Wikaire, Erena (2015)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Aim Increasing M??ori and Pacific success into and through tertiary health professional study has been prioritised as a key element in addressing inequitable health outcomes. However, secondary and tertiary education providers are failing to ensure M??ori and Pacific student success. This study aimed to explore the effect of pre-tertiary, admission and early academic outcome variables on academic outcomes within tertiary health study. Methods Kaupapa M??ori methodology, consistent with Kaupapa Pasifika methodology, was used to conduct a quantitative analysis of demographic and academic data for M??ori, Pacific and non-M??ori non-Pacific students enrolled in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland between 2002 and 2012. Multiple regression analysis was used to explore the effect of predictor variables including: school decile (low, medium, high); Auckland school (yes, no); type of admission (school leaver, alternative admission); bridging foundation programme (yes, no); first year bachelor grade point average (GPA); and first year bachelor passed all courses (yes, no); on academic outcomes (first year bachelor GPA, year 2 ??? 4 programme GPA, graduated from intended programme, graduated in the minimum time) and a composite optimal completion outcome for M??ori, Pacific and non-M??ori non-Pacific student groupings. Findings A total of 2686 students (150 M??ori, 257 Pacific, 2279 non-M??ori non-Pacific) who enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Nursing programmes between 2002 and 2012 were included. M??ori and Pacific students were more likely to experience increased and unique barriers to academic success when compared with non-M??ori non-Pacific students. Clear disparities in academic outcomes were demonstrated between non-dominant (M??ori and Pacific) and dominant (non-M??ori non-Pacific student groups) that were partially (but not fully) explained when adjusting for predictor variables. Conclusions If education sectors are serious about achieving real equitable outcomes for M??ori and Pacific students in tertiary health programmes, major institutional changes are needed that invest in equity-focused solutions that are realistic and accomplishable. This will involve self-critique of both secondary and tertiary education institutions and active efforts to address the unique barriers experienced by M??ori and Pacific students in the New Zealand context.

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  • Functional Characterisation of Direct Neural Inputs to Arcuate Nucleus Kisspeptin Neurons in the Mouse

    Schafer, Danielle (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The pulsatile pattern of gonadotropin release is critical for puberty and fertility. Kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARN) are thought to play an important role in generating pulsatile gonadotropin secretion. Previous studies have shown that kisspeptin neurons within the ARN project to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and that the synchronous activation of kisspeptin neurons generates pulsatile LH secretion in vivo. While studies indicated that ARN kisspeptin neurons co-express and are regulated by dynorphin (DYN) and neurokinin B (NKB), the neurotransmitters that control these neurons have not yet been fully explored. Many different internal and external factors, such as changes in stress and metabolic state, modulate pulsatile gonadotropin secretion. I hypothesized the neurotransmitters mediating the effects of stress and metabolism within the brain may act directly on ARN kisspeptin neurons to ultimately regulate pulsatile LH secretion. As such, I aimed to characterise the direct effects of several neurotransmitters upon the ARN kisspeptin neurons. To identify effects, I recorded calcium activity from ARN kisspeptin neurons in acute brain slices prepared from transgenic intact male and female mice expressing the calcium indicator GCaMP6f selectively in ARN kisspeptin neurons. These experiments were conducted in the presence of a voltage-gated sodium channel blocker and ionotropic amino acid receptor antagonists to ensure that only direct effects were measured. The effects of neurotransmitters on intracellular calcium levels in ARN kisspeptin neurons were determined by measuring changes in fluorescence within individual neurons. In intact diestrous females, experiments demonstrated that NKB, corticotropin-releasing hormone, arginine vasopressin (AVP), oxytocin, noradrenaline (NA), serotonin (5-HT), dopamine, neuropeptide Y, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) all act directly on ARN kisspeptin neurons to increase intracellular calcium levels, whereas DYN and beta-endorphin directly inhibit the stimulatory effects of NKB on these cells. Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and GnRH did not exhibit any direct effects on GCaMP6f fluorescence levels in ARN kisspeptin neurons. I also identified substantial regional and sex differences. Whereas, AVP, 5-HT, VIP, and PACAP all activated a significantly greater percentage of kisspeptin neurons in caudal ARN slices, NA exerted its most potent effects in the middle ARN region. Furthermore, the effect of AVP, 5-HT, VIP, and NA were pronounced in intact females, but significantly reduced, or even absent, in intact males. These results demonstrate that many of the neurotransmitters thought to be involved in mediating stress and metabolic actions within the brain also directly modulate the ARN kisspeptin neurons. As such, these neurons may provide an integration point through which different modalities regulate pulsatile LH secretion.

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  • Does cooperation enhance competitiveness? : assessing the impacts of collaborative business relationships

    Ryan, Nicholas Paul (2000)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Collaboration among firms is now a ubiquitous phenomenon. Many theoretical and managerial perspectives argue that firms that collaborate will outperform those firms that take independent approaches. This thesis reports the results of a study of New Zealand firms that examines the relationship between firm performance and participation in collaborative relationships. Environmental conditions and a firm's strategic orientation are also considered. Given the prevalence of cooperation, the thesis also investigates why many firms do not collaborate. The results of the moderated regression analysis indicate that there are no performance differences, across any of the performance measures used in the study, between firms involved in collaborative activity and firms that choose to remain independent. There is, however, some evidence suggesting that collaborating firms have higher performance levels than firms that would like to collaborate, but are unable to do so. The results also suggest that a firm's strategic orientation influences performance; customer- and technological-orientation both exhibit a positive association with firm performance. The thesis critically evaluates and tests the widely stated but little-tested argument that interfirm collaboration is usually beneficial.

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  • The Cytotoxic Mechanism of RL112 in Ovarian Cancer Cells

    Nhemachena, Tafadzwa (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy among women, and there is limited treatment. The search for effective therapies for ovarian cancer has led to the emergence of natural compounds such as curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the primary bioactive compound of turmeric (Curcuma longa). Although curcumin’s anticancer activity in various in vitro and in vivo models of ovarian cancer is promising, its clinical application is limited by low solubility and bioavailability. Therefore, developing novel curcumin analogues circumventing the limitations of curcumin have been the focus of research groups. This lab has previously developed a cyclohexanone curcumin analogue 1-methyl-3, 5-bis(3’-nitrobenzylidene)-4-piperidone (RL112), which exhibited enhanced anticancer activity towards ovarian cancer cells compared to curcumin. This project was designed to elucidate the cytotoxic mechanism of RL112 in SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. Methods: SKOV3 cells were used as a model of ovarian cancer. An SRB assay determined the IC50 value for RL112. Flow cytometry measured the effect of RL112 (1 M) on cell cycle progression and apoptosis induction. To further clarify the cytotoxic mechanism of RL112, the expression of key proteins involved in cell signalling were determined using Western blotting at 12 and 24 h time points. Results: RL112 exhibited potent anticancer activity in SKOV3 cells, with an IC50 value of 1 M. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that RL112 (1 M) induced cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. Moreover, RL112 (1 M) caused apoptosis of SKOV3 cells in a time-dependent manner. Specifically, there was a 2- and 4-fold increase of apoptotic cells at 24 and 48 h, in treated cells compared to DMSO (0.1%) controls, respectively. Western blotting revealed an increase in the phosphorylation status of p38 MAPK at 12 (36 ± 5%) and 24 (61 ± 5%) h, compared to control. Additionally, RL112 (1 M) modulated components of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in SKOV3 cells. Notably, at 24 h the expression of p-AKT and p-mTOR were 2-fold lower than in controls. RL112 also suppressed the transcriptional activity of NFB and -catenin. Conclusions: The findings provide evidence that RL112 is cytotoxic to cisplatin-resistant (CR) SKOV3 cells. Moreover, its mechanism of action appears to involve the suppression of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signalling, activation of p38 MAPK and downregulation of transcription factors (NFB and -catenin).

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  • To Investigate and Fabricate Melt Processed Biomaterials Exhibiting Shape Recovery Properties

    Crake, Keegan (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The purpose of this research was to produce and characterise novel hybrid biomaterials. Currently, there is a research gap in the area of producing hybrid biomaterials with shape memory properties for use in the fields of bioengineering or biomedical devices. This research will provide the initial results for a novel hybrid biomaterial that could be further researched for use in a biomedical device. In this study, melt extrusion methods were applied to the hybrid polymers. Three characterisation methods were employed within this work: mechanical (tensile) testing, shape recovery, and in vitro (trypsin) degradation. Across the three characterisation methods, PCL:PLA 30:70WT% 20% PEG-200 plasticised hybrid fibres were found to outperform the other materials reported in this thesis. Three key findings resulted from this research. The melt extrusion method used proved to be successful. PCL:PLA hybrid fibres could be produced consistently. Both glycerol and PEG-200 plasticisers used within this work were found to improve the blend properties of the hybrids. A total of 65% of tested hybrid fibres exhibited shape recovery when tested at a temperature of 37.5°C. The overall results of this study indicate that the hybrid materials produced here need to undergo further testing prior to use in biomedical applications.

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  • Aspirational Naturalism

    McLeod, Michael David (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    In this thesis I argue for aspirational naturalism. Aspirational naturalism is a metaphilosophical thesis that encourages a continuation of the interdisciplinary relationship between philosophy and science. It is a kind of methodological naturalism, a view about philosophical methodology that treats science with epistemic respect.

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  • Quantifying decadal-scale sediment flux using the historic sediment record in a range-front catchment, South Westland, New Zealand

    Moody, Adelaine Paula Mulcahy (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Accurately quantifying sediment flux from mountain catchments is important for understanding the processes that drive mountain landscape dynamics and evolution. In this study, total sediment yield and erosion rates were calculated for the small, range-front Potters Creek catchment on the western Southern Alps over 68 years, from 1948 to 2016 using the historic sediment record. Volumetric estimates of two sediment sinks, a lake basin and a Gilbert-type delta representing the respective fine and coarse portions of the total sediment flux enabled the calculation of sediment yield and the proportion of fine to coarse sediment over a decadal scale under inter-seismic conditions. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using the historic sediment record to accurately quantify decadal sediment fluxes. The decadal-timescale connects short-term studies that have used instrumental approaches to quantify sediment flux at the daily to yearly scale and studies that focus on the centennial to millennial scale of sediment flux using geochemical techniques. Aerial photographs were used to map the changes to the delta surface at the boundaries of three epochs; 1948, 1965, 1981 and 2014 to calculate volumetric growth of coarse sediment deposition. Fine sediment flux was assessed with a network of sediment cores extracted from Lake Mapourika. An inter-annual chronology of the fine sediment record was developed using bomb-spike radiocarbon dating and Bayesian modelling and was used to calculate flux rates between 1948 and 2016. Average denudation of 3.03 mm yr-1 and total sediment flux of 7220.32 t km-2 yr-1 showed that coarse sediment contribution was ~90% of the total sediment flux, a finding that contradicts previous estimates of the proportion of fine to coarse sediment in total sediment loads. Comparison to the rainfall record showed that hyperpycnal deposits could be linked to high magnitude rainfall events. Variation in rainfall did not account for all fluctuations in sediment flux rate, leading to the conclusion that sedimentation in the catchment was primarily supply-limited rather than transport-limited. In the context of the Southern Alps as a system in steady-state equilibrium, inter-seismic sedimentation accounts for a relatively low proportion of denudation over a seismic cycle contributing to knowledge of the role of inter-seismic sedimentation in overall mountain landform dynamics.

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  • An examination of the controls and sources of phosphorus to a small grazed tributary in Otago

    Severinsen, Kjerstine (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Phosphorus (P) is a nutrient of concern for its potential role in promoting nuisance growth in rivers. It can enter streams either through runoff or sub-surface flow pathways in dissolved or particulate form. The equilibrium phosphorus concentration (EPC0) is the point at which phosphorus in a stream is in equilibrium with the phosphorus in the bed sediment. It is thought that bed sediment acts as a control on P exchange, and is important for understanding effective P attenuation in waterways. By determining the EPC0 values for various sites within a stream, calculations can be made to assess whether the bed sediment is acting as a source or a sink of P in the waterway. At a larger scale, determining the sources of sediment to a stream can help to control how much P gets into a waterway in the first place. In Otago, previous studies have shown that phosphorus and sediment losses in overland flow are large. This study looks firstly at using the EPC0 to determine the controls on P in a small stream in Otago under baseflow conditions over a 12-month sampling period, and secondly at trying to identify sources of sediment to the stream. Sediment samples from an unnamed tributary of the Dow Stream on the AgResearch Invermay farm near Mosgiel, Otago, were analysed to calculate EPC0 and water samples were collected and measured to determine their P concentrations. Both wet and dry sediments were used for analysis, however there was too much variation in the wet sediment results to be used. Dried sediment results were used to infer patterns of seasonality but instream processes were not able to be determined. The dry sediment EPC0 values showed significant (P < 0.05) changes over the sampling period that were attributed to three stages, before and after a large flow event, and after grazing of a beet crop. Repeated small rain events combined with grazing were responsible for changes to bed sediment EPC0, not just large-scale rain events that cause sediment mobilisation as is established in literature. Source samples were also taken from transects surrounding the bed sediment sampling sites and the elemental profile of the bed sediments, as well as that of potential source sediments, were determined. A discriminant function analysis was used to determine predicted group membership of the bed sediments which also changed before and after grazing. The five source groups that were created did not capture all five of the bed sediment sites accurately, therefore although changes were observed the sources could not be accurately identified due to oversimplifying sampling using the transect method. Understanding both the equilibrium processes in stream and source areas externally are important for determining the lag effect of sediment bound P, entering a stream during storm events, and then contributing to the dissolved P load in the stream under base-flow conditions. Further research is still needed to link these in the tributary of Dow Stream.

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  • New Zealand’s look-through company regime: a tax practitioners’ perspective

    Waddell, Harry (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This research explores look-through companies (LTCs) from the perspective of tax practitioners. Specifically, LTCs are compared with their predecessor, loss-attributing qualifying companies (LAQCs), in order to evaluate the efficacy of New Zealand’s closely held company regimes. Whilst Parliament may have had the intention of reducing compliance costs with amendments and changes to closely held company legislation (such as introducing LTCs), empirical evidence suggests that the opposite has occurred. Interviews with tax practitioners were used to gather evidence and thus draw conclusions on the overall effectiveness of the LTC regime. As well as this, documentary analysis was used to understand the policy rationale in enacting closely held company legislation. Findings were interpreted using a branch of institutional theory, historical institutionalism. The findings indicated that a range of businesses use the LTC regime. Practitioners did not have a consensus on what the typical use of LTCs may look like, but indicated that LTCs were used for rental properties, companies anticipating losses, small family businesses and for international tax structuring and planning. Whilst Inland Revenue and Parliament contemplated the use of the LTC regime for small family businesses in enacting the regime, the other uses were not expected. In fact, most of the other uses are directly in conflict with the rationale for the regime: eliminating the role tax played in choice of entity, achieving closer integration between the company and its shareholders, and reducing complexity. Based on their experience, practitioners were generally of the view that the LTC regime resulted in higher compliance costs, especially when compared to QC/LAQCs. Additionally, practitioners were also of the view that the LTC regime resulted in higher compliance costs when compared to traditional structures such as sole traders, partnerships and companies. These higher compliance costs arise due to LTCs being more complex than these other structures. Practitioners stated that this complexity was due to two reasons: the loss/deduction limitation rule (and owners-basis test) and poorly drafted legislation. As previously mentioned, reducing complexity was an original aim of special closely held company regimes. However, when considering these findings, it appears the opposite has occurred. This complexity was one of the reasons that practitioners did not generally recommend the LTC regime to clients. However, if clients did use the LTC regime, it was almost always at the recommendation of practitioners. Clients tended to have very low levels of knowledge, and often knew more about LAQCs, which have been repealed for a number of years. Figures released under the Official Information Act indicated that LTCs have not been as popular as their predecessor, LAQCs. In the last year that LAQCs were in existence, there were 152,000 tax returns filed. This compares to 45,883 LTC returns being filed in 2016. In regard to the rationale or motivation behind using LTCs, there was no consensus amongst practitioners. The most common reason for using the structure was the fiscal transparency that the structure provides. Some practitioners also viewed limited liability as being a reason for use. Other reasons for use included minimising double taxation, tax-free distributions to shareholders, and minimising tax on historic retained earnings. Another important reason for their use mentioned by practitioners was that LTCs were seen as a default replacement for LAQC/QCs and as such, many owners choose to transition into the LTC regime. However, this is also contrary to the policy rationale for the regime, reducing the role that taxation plays in the choice of entity structure. Finally, practitioners were generally of the view that the most recent round of changes would decrease compliance costs for those that used the LTC regime. All practitioners were supportive of the removal of the loss/deduction rule, which, as previously mentioned, is a leading contributor to the regime’s complexity. However, a number of practitioners believed that other changes should have been made to the regime. These included expanding the five counted-owners restriction, and clarifying the transparency of the LTC regime.

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  • A low-cost MPPT multiple-input power converter for home applications in isolated areas

    Phan, Phu Huu (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The focus of this research is to design and build a low-cost maximum power point tracking (MPPT) multiple-input-single-output power converter system for low power gridisolated applications. The design of this power converter concentrated on searching for a suitable topology that integrates multiple renewable power sources, each with their own MPPT requirements and with the lowest cost of components. With good power conversion efficiency, the converter provides power to a dc load output and is also able to appropriately charge an energy storage battery. In addition to the main functional blocks, all protections required are equipped with the converter, including under voltage lock-out (UVLO), over voltage protection (OVP), cycle-by-cycle current limit, and battery over charge and over discharge prevention. The development and implementation of the converter was divided by different steps. The initial phase searched for, analyzed, and proposed the most suitable topology in terms of power delivery, cost, and feasibility. The non-isolated full-bridge was chosen for the power conversion topology for each channel with its own analogue controller. An interfacing circuit was designed to work with those full-bridge controllers for integrating MPPT control signals, constant output voltage control signals, and constant charging current control signals, from a microcontroller, a single output voltage feedback loop, and a single output current feedback loop, respectively. After a specification of the design had been selected, the detailed design and calculation of circuits was carried out. Simulations were also conducted to confirm the operation of the converter, including the start-up sequences, output load response, battery charging modes, and the transient between operation modes. The converter was then transferred to PCB design with two versions, a 2-layer and 4-layer board. A comparison was made for choosing the appropriate option among the designs regarding board size, cost, and performance. The final physical converter was formed by soldering components on the manufactured 170mm x 130mm 4-layer PCB, and programming of the microprocessor. The final step was the characterisation of the converter with standard power supplies and renewable energy source emulators, in the laboratory environment. Results show that the converter functions as per the design specifications. With the input source of a solar photovoltaic panel, a micro wind/hydro turbine, or both, the converter can work with solely a dc load or with a dc-bus connected battery (where the converter provides a threestage charging profile). The smooth and fast transiting between operation modes of MPPT, constant output voltage, and constant charging current were recorded without any abnormal behavior. The MPPT functions separately with each input source with high accuracy and fast response to the input conditions. Depending on the state of the output, the converter automatically switches to either constant output voltage or constant charging current mode when the total available input power is higher than the output load demand. For each of these operation modes, the converter also achieves a fast response to the input sources voltage and output load variations. With a designed capability of 2 kW maximum total power conversion, the converter is able to work with a wide range of input voltage (from 16 V to 60 V) for both input sources while its nominal output voltage is set at around 27 V for working with a nominal 24 V lead-acid battery. The peak power conversion efficiency of 95.3 % was recorded at 400 W of total input power when the turbine source voltage was 54 V (dc value after the rectifier) and the solar photovoltaic source voltage was 24 V. The operating temperature of the converter appeared to be higher than expected at some components, with a peak of 68.3 oC recorded on the gate driver chips. However, this issue could be mitigated by adding more heat sink components or modifying the design on a new revision. With under $60 USD of total component cost (slightly above $55 for pre-manufactured components and materials, and about $3 for the PCB), the converter is shown to be a low-cost converter regarding its power capability while supporting multiple input sources which may have a wide range of nominal power outputs. This makes the converter more applicable in isolated areas of developing countries.

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  • Asylum in Tension: Germany and the European Migrant Crisis

    White, Hannah (2017)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    There is a tension influencing asylum policy in liberal democratic states. Rather than a simple binary tension affecting open or restrictive asylum policy, this tension is complex. The national interests, rights and obligations of states, the role of international norms, and human and moral concerns, as well as the experiences of citizens within liberal democratic states, form an entangled web of influences on the policies and practices governing the entrance and integration of asylum seekers. I explore the scholarly research concerned with the composition and manifestation of this complex tension and then apply the academic literature to the case study of Germany during the recent European migrant crisis. The German case study gives context to the academic literature and provides evidence validating the existence and influence of the identified tension. In demonstrating the existence and consequences of this tension in Germany asylum policy, I also extend previous arguments by noting the changing regional and international context and thus the evolving influence of the tension on not only German but also EU asylum policy. Since the Refugee Convention came into force in 1951, in the ensuing halfcentury the integration of European states into the EU, and the evolution of the international and regional environment have broadened and added complexity to the way asylum policy is considered and implemented. This has occurred alongside the conflation of asylum policy with other policy areas, such as defence and intelligence. The key policy decision in Germany to introduce an open door policy to Syrian asylum seekers in September 2015 is a prominent example illustrating the arguments I make in regard to the existence and increasing influence of the complex tensions shaping asylum policy in Germany, Europe, and other parts of the world.

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  • Effects of reproductive hormones on ovarian development, vitellogenin physiology and gene expression of hormone receptors in the pituitary and ovary of the shortfinned eel (Anguilla australis)

    Thomson-Laing, Georgia (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    As in other teleosts, the completion of oogenesis is crucial for the acquisition of reproductive maturity in female freshwater eels. However, freshwater eels have a unique migratory lifecycle, which means that natural reproductive development can only be researched up until early vitellogenesis. Following this, a captivity-induced reproductive block must be overridden by external treatment with pituitary homogenates to stimulate artificial maturation. Artificial maturation of eels remains relatively inefficient when compared to other teleosts. This is partially due to a lack of knowledge pertaining to how mediators of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis such as sex steroids and gonadotropins regulate reproductive development. These hormones interact with specific receptors to affect change in target cells. This study aimed to determine the effects of combined or separate treatments with estradiol-17β (E2), 11-ketotestosterone (11KT) or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) on reproductive development in the New Zealand shortfinned eel, Anguilla australis. To achieve this, in vivo experiments were executed to evaluate the effect of treatments with or without 11KT ± hCG and 11KT ± E2 on ovarian development and the gene expression of pituitary and ovarian hormone receptors. Androgen and estrogen receptor subtypes (ars, ers; a and b subtypes) were differentially regulated in the ovary and pituitary in response to hormones. Both 11KT and hCG regulated the expression of ars and ers in the pituitary and ovary whereas E2 only stimulated era expression in the pituitary. Similarly, 11KT and hCG both reduced the expression of follicle-stimulating hormone beta in the pituitary while stimulating the expression of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor in the ovary. Independently, 11KT increased oocyte size and E2 stimulated hepatic production of vitellogenin (VTG). However, co-treatment with 11KT and E2 achieved uptake of VTG into oocytes. Additionally, hCG effectively induced vitellogenesis in the early pubertal eel. Overall, this research confirmed that hCG is an effective stimulator of vitellogenesis while also mediating hormone receptor expression, potentially sensitising the pituitary and ovary to circulating hormones. From these results, it was also speculated that through receptor mediation, 11KT might sensitize the ovary to sex steroids and follicle-stimulating hormone during early development and in turn facilitate the incorporation of E2-induced VTG into the developing oocyte. These results highlighted the potential of sex steroid co-treatments to induce vitellogenesis in eels even in the absence of external gonadotropin treatment.

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  • Cenozoic fossil wood of the southern South Island, New Zealand

    Vanner, Mathew Richard (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Fossil wood collected from 14 sites in the southern South Island, New Zealand was identified to family or genus level. These sites included two of Eocene age: Waihao River (Runangan to early Whaingaroan) and Pikopiko (Runangan to early Whaingaroan); one of Oligocene age: Cosy Dell Lime Pit, (Duntroonian – wood of this age has not been previously studied in New Zealand); nine of Miocene age: Lake Aviemore (uncertain), Idaburn, Roxburgh, St Bathans (all three Otaian to Lillburnian), Bennett’s Pit, Cosy Dell Coal Pit, Landslip Hill, Mataura Coal Mine and Newvale Coal Mine(these five Waitakian to Altonian); and two of Pliocene age: Gold Sandpit (uncertain) and Orepuki (Nukumaruan to Castlecliffian). The quality of wood preservation is highly variable, even within a single site. These differences in preservation types required a number of different preparation techniques to be trialled, including thin sectioning at standard orientations for wood anatomy (transverse, tangential and radial), Scanning Electron Microscope imaging and charcoalification. Thin sectioning ‘Silicified’ and ‘Calcified’ samples provided readily identifiable sections, while softer ‘Carbonised’ types provided best sections when charcoalified. Two sites in Canterbury were studied: Lake Aviemore and Waihao River. The samples identified at Lake Aviemore are all angiospermous, and related to non-New Zealand native Casuarinaceae, Myrtaceae or Picrodendraceae. The single sample found in the marine sequence at Waihao River is araucarian. Three sites in Otago were studied: Idaburn Coal Mine, Roxburgh Coal Mine, Upper Manuherikia River. At Idaburn, Cupressaceae (Libocedrus Endl.) and Podocarpaceae (Podocarpus L'Hér ex Pers.; Prumnopitys Phil.) were identified. A single sample from the Roxburgh Coal Mine was identified as either Podocarpus or Libocedrus. A sample from the Upper Manuherikia River resembles Casuarina L. Nine sites in Southland were studied, including Bennett’s Pit, Cosy Dell Coal Pit, Cosy Dell Lime Pit, Gold Sandpit, Landslip Hill, Mataura Coal Mine, Newvale Coal Mine, Orepuki-Gemstone Beach and Pikopiko. At Bennett’s Pit Libocedrus or Podocarpus was present. At the Cosy Dell Coal Pit, wood resembling Lagarostrobos Quinn and Podocarpus was present. At the Cosy Dell Lime Pit, a Podocarpus, bearing most resemblance to P. acutifolius Kirk, was identified. At the Gold Sandpit, Podocarpaceae (Phyllocladus Rich. ex Mirb.) was identified. A sample closely resembling Casuarinaceae (Gymnostoma L.A.S. Johnson) was present at Landslip Hill. This site has produced cones of this type previously. The Mataura Coal Mine, which has been studied previously, has Cupressaceae (Libocedrus) and rooted Podocarpaceae stumps up to 70 cm in diameter, while the Newvale Coal Mine has Araucariaceae, Cupressaceae and Podocarpaceae logs and branches. The younger Orepuki-Gemstone beach has Nestegis Raf., while the older Pikopiko Fossil Forest has Podocarpus or Libocedrus. Identification of samples of fossil wood provides new data that can be used to reconstruct the forest vegetation that grew in southern New Zealand during the Cenozoic.

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  • The Sharp Edge of Precarity: A framework of multiple precarities and homelessness in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Christensen, Nathaniel (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis presents a conceptual framework of ‘multiple precarities’ in order to describe intersectionalities of vulnerability and insecurity. This thesis also then road-tests the framework in the specific context of homelessness in Aotearoa New Zealand. By using the framework, homelessness is presented as both a condition and an identity, and is called the ‘sharp edge of precarity,’ where many different precarities intersect and coalesce. This thesis draws on empirical data collected through semi-structured interviews with key informants, a focus group with service providers in Auckland, field notes and observations, and a media analysis. The media analysis is also used to assess the representations of homelessness, and to evaluate how this aligns with the understanding of homelessness seen through the framework of multiple precarities. Though precarity is commonly used to assess peoples’ insecurity in the labour market (see for example Standing 2011), this thesis draws in various other interpretations of precarity. The resulting varieties of precarity are used to present the framework of multiple precarities as a holistic tool with which insecurity and vulnerability can be understood in a far more expansive way. This framework is far more applicable to the diverse situations that people experience than any one interpretation of precarity. Empirical data supports the use of the framework as a way to evaluate homelessness, and analysis of media suggests there are opportunities to use the framework of multiple precarities to communicate the nature of homelessness, or develop policy responses.

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