91,047 results

  • A cultural-sensitive approach to counseling a Samoan sex offender

    Seiuli, Byron Malaela Sotiata (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Sexual violation is any form of sexual violence, including rape, child molestation, incest, and similar forms of non-consensual sexual contact. Much of these acts of violation are perpetuated, but not entirely, by men against women and children. Moetolo is a Samoan term that is used to describe a person who sexually violates another while they or their family are asleep. This paper presents and discusses sexual abuse from a Samoan viewpoint. Insights are drawn from the authors' counseling engagement with a Samoan sex offender as part of his probation review process. Relevant literature is also engaged to inform and provide interpretation to the therapeutic work carried out. This article seeks to contribute new understanding to patterned responses of some Samoan people to sexual abuse behaviors, and steps to remedy arising concerns with perpetrators seeking reintegration back into their communities.

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  • Using vignettes in interviews: Exploring discourses around child sexuality

    Flanagan, Paul (2017)

    Report
    University of Waikato

    In this case study, I describe the process of data gathering using vignettes in both interview and focus group contexts. Vignettes offer multiple possibilities when researching sensitive topics in which participants may experience vulnerability. This research examines understandings of sexuality in childhood. As a child and family counselor working closely with principals and teachers in primary schools, I supported schools and families responding to children’s “sexual" activity. Parents and teachers questioned the causes and effects of these children’s actions. Many adults responded from fear, naivety, confusion, and assumptions about children’s actions. These adult reactions led toward over-reactive and punitive consequences for children. Informed by adults’ discomfort and subsequent inscriptions of children’s actions as sexual, I developed six vignettes to elicit participant knowledge. I worked alongside ...

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  • Changing the (video) game: Innovation, user satisfaction and copyrights in network market competition

    Goltz, Nachshon (Sean); Franks, Jaimie; Goltz, Shem (2015)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This paper explores the emerging trend of user-generated content and innovation in the development of new products and ideas, breaking the traditional producer-consumer paradigm that once dominated the marketplace. In particular, the paper evaluates and compares the relationship between innovation and user satisfaction within the video game industry. To do so, the paper assesses data collected from the online communities of two very different games, Minecraft and Call of Duty in order to determine if there is a link between user-innovation and user-satisfaction in a product. The authors predict that more innovation in a game leads to more user satisfaction. The results of the research do not support this prediction. As observed in the online communities of the two games, there is no clear connection between high levels of innovation with higher user satisfaction. In fact, there is no direct connection between innovation and user satisfaction. However, Minecraft was found to be the more innovative game of the two and did have an overall higher level of user satisfaction than compared to Call of Duty. The data also suggests that Minecraft players experience a greater fluctuation in their enjoyment of the game compared to the players of the game with less innovation, Call of Duty. Finally, “radical innovation” was only found in Minecraft and not in the game with less player-control. This paper then goes on to discuss the role of innovation and user-generated digital content within the realm of intellectual property law and the resulting copyright implications for video game producers and players alike.

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  • Researching perceptions of childhood sexuality: Using vignettes in interviews with teachers, counsellors, parents and young children

    Flanagan, Paul (2014)

    Conference item
    University of Waikato

    Adults interpret children’s actions from their own positionings within culture and gender discourses. Children’s ‘sexual’ actions or ‘sexualised behaviour’ is responded to from ideas of innocence and indifference to moral panics and protective interventions. Adults express discomfort and uncertainty about how to understand and respond to young children acting this way. Researching sexuality traverses social and cultural environments in which people live. Frayser (2003) refers to ‘shifting cultural maps’ as constructions of sexuality move from reproductive to relational and recreational understandings. “An expanded view of sexuality has meant an expanded interpretation of what is sexual; Words, looks, touches, pictures, and movements can all be construed in sexual ways” (Frayser, 2003, p. 267). Mitchell (2005), researching children’s sexuality in the Australian context, noted limitations in the literature, including the conceptualisation of sexuality; the difficulty of defining ‘normal’ sexual development when children’s sexuality is not considered in a wider, social and cultural context; and the dearth of research about children’s understandings of sexuality. This paper describes a New Zealand doctoral study exploring discourses shaping constructions of sexuality in childhood. In particular, the paper focuses on the methodological approach of using vignettes. Primary school teachers, parents, counsellors and children responded to a series of vignettes within focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The use of vignettes produced a context of safe participation for participants. This method supported participants’ confidence and trust with both the research process and their relationship with the researcher. As understandings were shared, enquiry brought forward further ideas and experiences from participants. Many readily disclosed more personal information, telling stories of child sexual activity: about themselves; their own children; family members; or stories of other children known to them. A social constructionist framework underpins this research: children’s experiences are multi-storied and multiple meanings are available in understandings of sexuality. Foucault’s concepts of the genealogical method are used in the analysis of the literature, policies and practices on childhood sexuality, together with discursive positioning from the participants’ narratives. Vignettes gave a safe entry into discussions about childhood sexuality, beginning with less problematic stories and then further examples of developing complexity. They provided stories to be viewed at a distance, then allowing for closer and more personal sharing of experiences. Awareness and understanding multiple social and cultural discourses shaping constructions of childhood sexuality is useful for teachers, parents and counsellors.

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  • Bottom-up governance after a natural disaster: a temporary post-earthquake community garden in central Christchurch, New Zealand

    Montgomery, Roy L.; Wesener, Andreas; Davies, F.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Creative temporary or transitional use of vacant urban open spaces is seldom foreseen in traditional urban planning and has historically been linked to economic or political disturbances. Christchurch, like most cities, has had a relatively small stock of vacant spaces throughout much of its history. This changed dramatically after an earthquake and several damaging aftershocks hit the city in 2010 and 2011; temporary uses emerged on post-earthquake sites that ran parallel to the “official” rebuild discourse and programmes of action. The paper examines a post-earthquake transitional community-initiated open space (CIOS) in central Christchurch. CIOS have been established by local community groups as bottom-up initiatives relying on financial sponsorship, agreements with local landowners who leave their land for temporary projects until they are ready to redevelop, and volunteers who build and maintain the spaces. The paper discusses bottom-up governance approaches in depth in a single temporary post-earthquake community garden project using the concepts of community resilience and social capital. The study analyses and highlights the evolution and actions of the facilitating community organisation (Greening the Rubble) and the impact of this on the project. It discusses key actors’ motivations and values, perceived benefits and challenges, and their current involvement with the garden. The paper concludes with observations and recommendations about the initiation of such projects and the challenges for those wishing to study ephemeral social recovery phenomena.

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  • Loss of functional diversity and network modularity in introduced plant–fungal symbioses

    Dickie, Ian; Cooper, J. A.; Bufford, Jennifer; Hulme, Philip E.; Bates, S. T.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    The introduction of alien plants into a new range can result in the loss of co-evolved symbiotic organisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi, that are essential for normal plant physiological functions. Prior studies of mycorrhizal associations in alien plants have tended to focus on individual plant species on a case-by-case basis. This approach limits broad scale understanding of functional shifts and changes in interaction network structure that may occur following introduction. Here we use two extensive datasets of plant–fungal interactions derived from fungal sporocarp observations and recorded plant hosts in two island archipelago nations: New Zealand (NZ) and the United Kingdom (UK). We found that the NZ dataset shows a lower functional diversity of fungal hyphal foraging strategies in mycorrhiza of alien when compared with native trees. Across species this resulted in fungal foraging strategies associated with alien trees being much more variable in functional composition compared with native trees, which had a strikingly similar functional composition. The UK data showed no functional difference in fungal associates of alien and native plant genera. Notwithstanding this, both the NZ and UK data showed a substantial difference in interaction network structure of alien trees compared with native trees. In both cases, fungal associates of native trees showed strong modularity, while fungal associates of alien trees generally integrated into a single large module. The results suggest a lower functional diversity (in one dataset) and a simplification of network structure (in both) as a result of introduction, potentially driven by either limited symbiont co-introductions or disruption of habitat as a driver of specificity due to nursery conditions, planting, or plant edaphic-niche expansion. Recognizing these shifts in function and network structure has important implications for plant invasions and facilitation of secondary invasions via shared mutualist populations

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  • Factors influencing occupancy of modified artificial refuges for monitoring the range-restricted Banks Peninsula tree weta Hemideina ricta (Anostostomatidae)

    Bowie, Michael H.; Allen, Warwick; McCaw, J.; Van Heugten, R.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    The use of non-destructive and non-invasive monitoring methods is often necessary for species of high conservation status. Developing monitoring methods to maximise numbers of individuals found is important, given that rare species can be difficult to locate. Artificial refuges called 'weta motels' have been used for monitoring tree weta (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) since 1992, but poor occupancy for Hemideina ricta and H. femorata necessitated an improved design and assessment of placement to encourage tree weta use. Modification to a basic design of weta motel was tested on New Zealand's rarest tree weta, H. ricta, on Banks Peninsula, Canterbury, New Zealand. Possible lures such as peanut butter or frass from male and female H. ricta were placed in motels in an attempt to improve occupancy. We recorded high occupancy rates with an improved weta motel design and found that motels containing female frass had significantly higher levels of occupancy than controls, with the former reaching 80% occupation after 6 months. Weta motels were more likely to be used by tree weta in areas with low subcanopy density and patchy or little canopy cover, with H. ricta found to prefer higher altitude sites. Occupation of weta motels was compared with results from a previous hand search survey, finding very similar distributions of tree weta species with the two survey methods. We conclude that this modified refuge is effective for monitoring tree weta, including the range-restricted Banks Peninsula tree weta H. ricta. © New Zealand Ecological Society.

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  • Greater focus needed on alien plant impacts in protected areas

    Hulme, Philip E.; Pyšek, P.; Pergl, J.; Jarošík, V.; Schaffner, U.; Vilà, M.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Alien plants pose significant threats to protected areas worldwide yet many studies only describe the degree to which these areas have become invaded. Research must move toward a better understanding of alien plant impacts since managers urgently require an appropriate evidence base to prioritize control/eradication targets. We analyze a global database of quantitative studies of alien plant impacts to evaluate existing knowledge of alien plant impacts within and outside protected areas. Although protected areas are a significant focus for quantitative impact studies, the biogeographic emphasis of most research effort does not coincide with the global distribution of protected areas nor the plant species or life-forms recognized to have greatest impacts on ecosystems. While impacts were often as significant within protected areas as outside, only a minority of studies provide any subsequent management recommendations. There is therefore considerable scope to improve the evidence base on alien plant management in protected areas.

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  • New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk

    Driscoll, D. A.; Catford, J. A.; Barney, J. N.; Hulme, Philip E.; Inderjit; Martin, T. G.; Pauchard, A.; Pyšek, P.; Richardson, D. M.; Riley, S.; Visser, V.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks.

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  • Ammonium sorption and ammonia inhibition of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria explain contrasting soil N₂O production

    Venterea, R. T.; Clough, Timothy J.; Coulter, J. A.; Breuillin-Sessoms, F.; Wang, P.; Sadowsky, M. J.

    Journal article
    Lincoln University

    Better understanding of process controls over nitrous oxide (N₂O) production in urine-impacted 'hot spots' and fertilizer bands is needed to improve mitigation strategies and emission models. Following amendment with bovine (Bos taurus) urine (Bu) or urea (Ur), we measured inorganic N, pH, N₂O, and genes associated with nitrification in two soils ('L' and 'W') having similar texture, pH, C, and C/N ratio. Solution-phase ammonia (slNH₃) was also calculated accounting for non-linear ammonium (NH₄⁺) sorption capacities (ASC). Soil W displayed greater nitrification rates and nitrate (NO₃⁻) levels than soil L, but was more resistant to nitrite (NO₂⁻) accumulation and produced two to ten times less N₂O than soil L. Genes associated with NO₂⁻oxidation (nxrA) increased substantially in soil W but remained static in soil L. Soil NO₂⁻was strongly correlated with N₂O production, and cumulative (c-) slNH₃ explained 87% of the variance in c-NO₂⁻. Differences between soils were explained by greater slNH₃ in soil L which inhibited NO₂⁻oxidization leading to greater NO₂⁻ levels and N₂O production. This is the first study to correlate the dynamics of soil slNH₃, NO₂⁻, N₂O and nitrifier genes, and the first to show how ASC can regulate NO₂⁻ levels and N₂O production. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

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  • What happens at work goes home: Investigating secondary traumatic stress and social support among the partners of New Zealand's Police, Fire, Ambulance and Defence Personnel

    Alrutz, Anna Stowe (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Police, fire, ambulance and defence force personnel (responders) risk experiencing dangerous activities, traumatic events and the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. In turn, spouses/partners (partners) of these responders risk developing secondary traumatic stress (STS) as they are exposed vicariously to the trauma through communication with their responders. The research aimed to address the question: How do the partners of NZ defence and emergency responders respond to work stress experienced by their responder? The study used six research questions and six hypotheses to identify resources and barriers towards effective management of STS. A mixed methods approach assessed the experience of STS among the partners of New Zealand???s (NZ) responders. Using this approach the researchers interviewed participants prior to survey data collection and again after the survey to facilitate interpretation and incorporate feedback. After pilot-testing, the anonymous online survey was made available nationwide. The survey measured STS in partners, perceived stigma towards help-seeking, partner resilience and relationship satisfaction. The survey asked if the defence and emergency responder???s organisation invited partners to events, offered inductions, or offered informational resources to manage stress. Partners were asked who they turned to when dealing with stressful situations experienced by their responder. The survey concluded with open-ended questions about organisational engagement with the partners and responders. Themes were identified from analysis of the qualitative responses given by the 835 partners of NZ responders. A hypothesised model was produced and tested using multiple regression (n=664) which led to the creation of a structural equation model (SEM) (n=547) to describe interactions between resources and barriers. The study found that 20???35% of partners experience significant symptoms of STS and almost half feel unsupported when managing stressful issues experienced by their responders. Positive organisational communication benefits partners and reduces psychosocial risks. The thematic analyses endorsed increasing partner self-efficacy and encourages organisations to identify partner accessible resources. Triangulating the results obtained from these mixed methods highlights challenges faced by partners of defence and emergency responders and suggest how direct organisational engagement with the partners of their employees could reduce risks associated with secondary exposure to trauma.

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  • Assessing Security Control Framework Impact in the Retail Sector: What Value Can COBIT 5 Add to ITIL Adoption?

    Lal, Vishal

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Due to advancements in technology, retailers have gained the ability to reach out to a greater clientele base. Retailers have invested heavily in e-marketing in order to promote themselves to customers who would otherwise be out of reach of a physical retail shop. Online marketing allows retailers to advertise through AdWords, emails ad text messages and general web advertising. The consequence is that retailers have introduced many new IT processes to accommodate customer and business needs. While these developments allow retailers to maximize their earning potential, it also brings about risks such as those to information security, and increasing costs due to not implementing efficient IT processes. In order to maintain competitiveness in the market they need to implement best practices prescribed by industry standards and the use of control frameworks for risk management. Since a business works as a system, various processes tend to be dependent on each other and therefore, it becomes necessary for service level agreements to be in place so that processes are not delayed. Failure to perform one critical task inappropriately could potentially cause a domino like effect on other processes. Unfortunately, not all task performers adhere to procedures and thus negatively impact the overall performance of the business, meaning that the business doesn’t perform as efficiently as it would if processes were performed in accordance to the standards. To combat this issue, IT auditors use different audit tools to assess the efficiency of IT process and determine and recommend ways to improve these processes so that they perform at optimised levels. The purpose of this research is to perform a maturity assessment on three IT processes used in a retail business. These processes are the Security Access Requests, the End of Day Process, and the Campaign Loading Process. The assessment process involves observing research participants performing these processes and then interviewing them to identify the issues that prevented the processes being performed at higher efficiency levels. The research participants were also asked to give each of their respective processes a maturity rating and how in their opinion these ratings could be improved. The maturity ratings were based on the Capability Maturity Model Interface from COBIT 5. The ratings were then analysed based on the observations made and interview responses. The research question is: What Value Can COBIT 5 Add to ITIL Adoption? The findings from the research show that there are many reasons that a process may not be performing at the best efficiency level. Factors contributing to the increase of a capability maturity level measure are: The existence of service level agreements, the intention to follow standard operating procedures, effective training and a commitment to continuous improvement. The absences of any of these are detrimental to business performance as whole. It was also discovered in the research that implementing recommendations for improvements have costs attached to them. These costs can be anything from financial, time consumption, and resources utilisation. The findings show that sometimes processes can be improved by using the services of in-house development teams. They also show that sometimes the best way to improve a process is to simply follow the required steps prescribed for the process. Therefore, the value we are looking at relates to the benefits or gains derived from adopting a control framework. The outcome of this research provides a thorough understanding of using COBIT 5 CMMI to assess the level of maturity attained by various IT processes in the retail sector. It also enables readers to understand the problems faced by process operators that affect the level of efficiency. In addition, it provides a comprehensive understanding of ways in which processes could be improved and to support the businesses objectives. Moreover, it paves the way for research in the same area using more resources and assessment of a greater number of IT processes as well as related areas such as corporate social responsibility from an IT perspective.

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  • Disaster E-Health Framework for Community Resilience

    Norris, A; Gonzalez, J; Martinez, S; Parry, D

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Disaster management and the health sector ought to be natural allies, but there are few examples of the collaborative planning and application of disaster healthcare involving emergency managers and care practitioners. The different origins, culture, and priorities of the various agencies tasked with disaster healthcare mean that communication and coordination between them is often lacking, leading to delayed, sub-standard, or inappropriate care for disaster victims. The potential of the new e-health technologies, such as the electronic health record, telehealth and mobile health, that are revolutionizing non-disaster healthcare, is also not being realised. These circumstances have led to an international project to develop a disaster e-health framework that can inform national disaster and health strategies. This paper describes this project and its extension to embrace community resilience that strengthens preparedness, safeguards life during the disaster phase, and assists long-term recovery to preserve the health and basic values of citizens.

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  • What Are the Outcomes and Views of People With Mobility Limitations After Participating in a Community Circuit Group?

    Stavric, V; Mudge, S; Robinson, L; Rewa, M

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Increasing services are addressing the needs of people living with long term conditions. The purpose of this observational study was to determine the impact of community circuit classes on balance and mobility of individuals with neurological conditions. Participants were recruited from people interested in or already taking part in circuit classes provided at a private rehabilitation clinic. Outcomes (4-Stage Balance test, 30 Second Chair Stand test and Timed Up and Go (TUG) were assessed before and after a block of circuit classes (at least six weekly sessions). Risk and fear of falling were measured using the Falls Risk Assessment Tool and the Falls Efficacy Scale respectively. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire to provide their views about the class. All 13 participants completed at least six classes. A difference was found in the TUG (p=0.05) but not in other outcome measures. All participants highly rated the organisation, level of staff skill and amount of assistance provided at the classes, but there was less satisfaction on the challenge and frequency of classes. Participating in circuit classes for a short-term period appears to have a positive impact on mobility and is an enjoyable form of exercise for people with neurological conditions.

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  • Educational Makerspaces: Disruptive, Educative or Neither?

    Gilbert, J

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Makerspaces are now common in schools. This idea, which originated outside education, is being advocated as a way to improve student engagement in learning and/or to foster creativity and/or innovation. It is also linked with “future-focused” education and is seen by some as a potentially disruptive force for good in education. This paper evaluates these claims. It looks at the origins of the makerspace concept and at how and why it was taken up by educationists. Via an exploration of the ideas about knowledge, learning and education assumed by its proponents, it assesses makerspace’s general educative potential and its likely contribution to the development of future-focused education. It concludes that the makerspace idea could be usefully disruptive in terms of education’s future development, but that this is unlikely without system-wide cognitive change.

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  • The importance and movement of mud bacterial carbon within the symbiosis of the New Zealand sea anemone Anthopleura aureoradiata

    Cornwall, Andrew (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A. aureoradiata is New Zealand’s only native cnidarian to form a phototrophic symbiosis with dinoflagellate microalgae. It is of particular interest as it can be found in estuarine mudflat habitats attached to cockles, where it spends a portion of the day submerged under the mud, either partially or completely. This scenario is very different to the situation in the tropics, where comparable symbioses (e.g. those with reef-building corals) live in brightly lit, clear waters. How A. aureoradiata maintains a stable symbiosis is therefore of considerable interest, with one potential mechanism involving the acquisition of carbon from the surrounding mud to counter the reduced availability of light and hence the reduced rate of photosynthesis. In this thesis, I established the extent to which organic carbon in mud (especially bacteria) can be assimilated by A. aureoradiata and to what extent, if any, this carbon contributes to symbiosis nutrition and facilitates symbiosis stability under otherwise sub-optimal conditions. In the first instance, anemones were given access to¹³C glucose-labelled mud for 12 hours, in both the light and dark, and the extent of label incorporation (¹³C enrichment) in both the host and symbiont was measured by mass spectrometry. Subsequently, A. aureoradiata was starved of planktonic food for six weeks in the presence of differing quantities of unlabelled mud (‘no-mud’, ‘low-mud’ and ‘high-mud’), either with or without light, and a range of nutritional and biomass parameters measured. These included symbiont density, host protein content, and the accumulation of host lipid and symbiont starch stores. Both the host anemone and its symbiotic algae showed signs of ¹³C uptake from the mud. Host anemones maintained in the dark assimilated more ¹³C label from the mud than did anemones incubated in the light, while the extent of label assimilation by the symbionts was unaffected by irradiance. Enhanced heterotrophic feeding in the dark is consistent with patterns reported for other symbiotic cnidarians, such as reef corals, where the host must counter the reduced availability of photosynthate from the symbiotic algae. However, the reason for the equal labelling of the symbionts in the light and dark is less clear. Nevertheless, factors such as reverse translocation in the dark (i.e. the transfer of organic carbon from host to symbiont), dark fixation of inorganic carbon, and a higher respiration rate of symbionts in the light than dark, could act either alone or in concert to produce the labelling pattern seen. While the host and symbiont showed evidence of carbon uptake from the surrounding mud, mud quantity had no effect on either the host’s or symbiont’s storage products (% of starch in symbiont biomass, host protein content and lipid content), or on symbiont density. The lack of an effect of mud suggests that mud-derived bacteria comprise little of the host’s natural diet. In contrast, increased light availability (independent of mud availability) did lead to elevated symbiont density and symbiont starch content, consistent with the phototrophic nature of this symbiosis. More surprising was that host protein content was highest in the dark, suggesting perhaps that the symbionts were less of an energetic drain on their host when starved in the dark due to their lower population density. In summary, my thesis provides evidence that A. aureoradiata and its symbiotic algae can use organic carbon obtained from the surrounding mud for their nutrition, but that this carbon source is of only negligible importance. These results are consistent with previous findings for the uptake and role of mud-derived nitrogen in this system. Further work to establish how this symbiosis maintains its remarkable stability under apparently sub-optimal, low-light conditions is therefore needed.

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  • Chemical genetic analyses of compounds derived from feijoa fruit

    Mokhtari, Mona (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Nature has been a rich source of pharmaceutical compounds, producing 80% of our currently prescribed drugs. The feijoa plant, Acca sellowiana, is classified in the family Myrtaceae, native to South America, and currently grown worldwide to produce feijoa fruit. Compounds with anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal activities have been isolated from feijoa; however, the diversity of these compounds is not known nor is the mechanism of action of any of these compounds. I hypothesized that identifying compounds in novel feijoa cultivars would improve our understanding of the chemical diversity of antifungal compounds in feijoa and determining the antifungal mechanism of action of feijoa compounds would provide insight into the pharmaceutical potential of these compounds. First, GC-MS analyses were used to obtain an unbiased profile of 151 compounds from 16 cultivars of feijoa, of which six were novel cultivars. Multivariate analysis distinguished 18 compounds that were significantly and positively correlated to antifungal activity based on growth inhibition of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, of which seven had not previously been described from feijoa. Two novel cultivars were identified as the most bioactive cultivars, and the compound 4-cyclopentene-1,3-dione found in a couple of cultivars was potently antifungal against human pathogenic isolates of four Candida species. Second, chemical genetic analyses were used to investigate the mechanism of action of estragole, an antifungal compound previously isolated from feijoa. The chemical genetic profile of estragole was distinct from that of other known antifungal compounds, suggesting the mechanism of action of estragole has a novel antifungal mechanism. Third, chemical genetic analyses were used to investigate the mechanism of action of an ethanol adduct of vescalagin (EtOH-vescalagin) isolated from feijoa. We showed EtOH-vescalagin is antifungal against human pathogenic strains. Genome-wide chemical genetic analyses of EtOH-vescalagin indicated antifungal activity is mediated by disruptions of iron homeostasis, zinc homeostasis and retromer recycling through iron chelation. Overall, these results indicate the chemical and biological value of feijoa as a source of antifungal drugs.

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  • (Re)covered Memory: Memorialisation, Race, and Architecture

    Wiles, Max (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The tendency to record only built memory and significant events in architectural practice means that less tangible cultural memory is prone to erasure. This is prevalent in the memories of the other which often diverge from the majority, and so are not considered for preservation. In this context, cultural memory refers to the intangible qualities and experiences which define place, associated with a particular group. While initiatives such as heritage listings can preserve the physical history of place, little is done to preserve intangible history which has been lost through development and gentrification. To investigate strategies for reasserting cultural memory in urban space, Haining Street in Wellington is engaged as a site. From approximately 1890 to 1960, Haining Street was Wellington’s Chinatown and home to the largest Chinese population in New Zealand. Despite a long, and often controversial history, this legacy has virtually been erased from the contemporary streetscape, creating an area of note only for a vanished past. This thesis proposes that the memory of Haining Street’s Chinese past can be reasserted through an artist in residence scheme, consisting of a gallery, workshop and accommodation. Architectural intervention within spaces where history has been erased can reassert memory of the other, creating an identifiable place by: memorialising the intangible qualities of place, engaging with the legacy of race in the built environment, and creating a sensual experience of place. This research suggests that architecture has the potential to reconcile conflicted recollections of the past through an active engagement with the memory of place.

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  • Comfortable contemplation

    McEwan, Joe (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Through the design of memorial baths on the West Coast, this thesis proposes that through an increased understanding and interpretation of place identity, memorialisation can precipitate a process of understanding and healing. This process leads the visitor to gain a heightened level of mental wellbeing. This research sheds light on, and provides an alternative to, the present state of memorials in New Zealand, identifying them as places to heal. It provides a solution of a memorial that connects people, their thoughts and memories to architecture. This is achieved through the application of the Kessler – Kübler-Ross model by facilitating participants’ experience of grief through the bargaining, depression and acceptance stages. This thesis proposes an architectural solution that sufficiently memorializes lost gold miners of the West Coast and their way of life. It also enquires into the somewhat aberrant architectural culture and identity of the West Coast and identifies methods of preserving this architectural regionalism before it is lost. This quickly disappearing West Coast identity and architectural regionalism becomes a further stimulant for memorialisation. The architectural form and composition respond to mining history and the miner’s way of life. This memorial, located deep within the Southern Alps hosts a series of natural thermal baths and contemplative spaces that prompt reflection and inner thought, transporting the visitor toward an improved level of mental wellbeing through a means of triggering memory, and providing spaces that prompt contemplation.

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  • Colour 3D/4D Printing for Film

    Robinson, Victoria (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The value of materiality and tactility is vital to enriching our experience of the world. We understand these interactions implicitly, and can see when they are portrayed incorrectly in film. CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) can seem disconnected from the actor, yet practical special effects are constrained by reality. Recently, the 3D printing company Stratasys released a colour, multi-material printer called the J750, which has the capacity to create full colour, flexible articulating prints. This technology gives us the opportunity to find a balance between CGI and practical effects, harnessing the freedom of digital making together with the tactility of physical interaction. Building on the conclusions generated by Ross Stevens’ and Bernard Guy’s work “Lissom”, this study explores how CGO (Computer Generated Objects) can be used by physical prop-makers to enhance the perception of reality in the increasingly digital film industry. Textual analysis of special effects films shows that CGI and practical effects influence films through Narrative, Audience Experience, Spectacle, Visual Branding and Believability. Through material testing and critical iterative creation, this research defines the skills and knowledge required to effectively design special effects using the J750. Liaising with overseas print bureaus, I also use my knowledge to facilitate other students’ use of the J750, allowing me to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of this technology from a thematic perspective. In addition to this, I also conduct my own prototyping tests to understand how to exploit the technology at a more advanced level. This range of technical and contextual knowledge ultimately result in the production of two final prototypes, which reflect different aspects of my research. These final prototypes will be presented in short films, which will be reflected upon to suggest conclusions on the future 3D printing may have in the film industry.

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