88,600 results

  • The near win effect on observing behaviour in simulated slot-machine gambling: The role of conditioned reinforcement

    Colls, Lauren (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Slot machines are a remarkably popular mode of gambling even though they are programmed to make a profit by paying out less money than is put in. One common feature of slot machines, which may increase the likelihood of persistent gambling in the face of this monetary loss, is the near win. This study’s aim was to investigate the conditioned reinforcing properties of near wins using an observing response procedure in the context of a simulated slot machine. In an observing response procedure, participants can use an observing button to produce a stimulus correlated with the availability of reinforcement (S+) or a stimulus correlated with no reinforcement or less reinforcement (S-). The percentage of observing responses made for each stimulus is thought to reflect the reinforcing efficacy of the reinforcer correlated with each stimulus. Experiment 1 successfully tested the procedure with an obvious reinforcer - wins - and found consistently more observing for the S+. In Experiment 2 and 3 the S+ was correlated with near wins, and in Experiment 2 only those with slot-machine experience had consistently more observing for the S+. Experiment 3 increased the probability of wins to enhance the reinforcing efficacy of near wins, but failed to find consistently more observing for the S+, regardless of slot machine or scratchie card experience. These results indicated that near wins are not conditioned reinforcers. However, participants tended to bet more following near wins than losses, which suggested that near wins may instead function as discriminative stimuli.

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  • Tama Samoa Stories: Experiences and Perceptions of Identity, Belonging and Future Aspirations at Secondary School

    Rimoni, Fuapepe (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis investigates the experiences of twelve strong, articulate and thoughtful tama Samoa (Samoan boys) through their participation in secondary schools and lives outside the classroom and through the stories of others. The study looked at how the students enacted their identities as Samoans, as learners and as young men who are anticipating the future. The study is premised on the view that Pacific identities are fluid, diverse, multi-dimensional and include a range of different perspectives relating to social class, ethnicity, culture and gender. Such a view of identity as complex is not generally taken into consideration in the literature on educational success and achievement of Pacific students in New Zealand. The study employed a phenomenological qualitative design, using focus groups and semi-structured interviews by talanoa (conversations). As the study involved a group of indigenous tama Samoa, the Samoan fa’afaletui method was used. Participants were a group of twelve tama Samoa in three Wellington secondary schools and their twelve nominated persons. The study found that there are key aspects to making the experiences of tama Samoa positive and successful within the secondary school. These include acknowledging tama Samoa and their multiple identities while attending secondary school; supporting the development of a sense of belonging through everyday interactions with peers and teachers, and affirming the belief by tama Samoa that secondary school socialisation serves to help them make future decisions. This study argues that the experiences of tama Samoa are deeply embedded within wider social, economic and political trends. Indeed, their “voices” are shaped in part by these broader forces that construct and represent them as being historically “disadvantaged” and socio-economically “underserved.” Further, this study advocates for the diverse voices of tama Samoa, along with their experiences, stories, hopes, aspirations and dreams to be brought to light and placed alongside the official accounts of Pacific “disadvantage” to enable more balanced critical discourses taking place. It is hoped that this study will offer further insights into the experiences of tama Samoa in the New Zealand secondary school context, from which valuable knowledge is derived to inform and support schools in improving the New Zealand secondary school experiences of Samoan adolescent boys.

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  • Sowing the Gospel of Peace: Missionary James Watkin at Karitāne and Wellington, 1840-1855

    Woodfield, Mary-Anne (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Wesleyan missionary James Watkin established the first mission station in the South Island at Karitāne in May 1840 and in 1844 he shifted to Wellington, where he remained with his family until 1855. During this time Watkin recorded his mission work in his journal, a key primary source for this research. While his efforts as a missionary have been considered particularly in texts covering New Zealand mission and South Island history, this thesis focuses on how James Watkin’s work helped to encourage physical and moral peace where he was located. Key elements of this work involved running church services for Māori and Europeans, and commencing schools at which Māori were taught literacy in their own language. By these avenues, Watkin diffused among his hearers the Christian teachings which encouraged peaceful conduct and moderation over violence and excesses which proved detrimental to the wellbeing of the community. Through more direct interventions, Watkin helped to defend young and lowly members of society from violence intended or practiced against them. This diffusion of Christian teachings and Watkin’s direct interventions encouraged peace within the community. Secondly, missionaries aimed to foster peace amidst times of war by assuming the role of mediators and encouraging chiefs to adopt Christianity, by which means peaceable sentiments could be fostered within their tribe. By visiting each area of his circuit and organising church gatherings, Watkin helped to facilitate peace within and between tribes, as Wesleyan Māori from various areas assembled to participate in church activities where amiable sentiments were fostered. This thesis proposes that by these various avenues, the Reverend James Watkin contributed to the fostering of peace in the community and in times of war.

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  • Oceanic Creative Practice: Re-evaluating indigenous spatial strategies as relevant to twenty-first century creative exploration and practice

    Meadows, Jodi Marie (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    “Oceania is vast, Oceania is expanding, Oceania is hospitable and generous, Oceania is humanity rising from the depths of brine and regions of fire deeper still, Oceania is us.”¹ ­‐ Epeli Hau’ofa This research investigates how indigenous visual spatial strategies can be used to assist in the definition of a framework that helps characterise Oceanic perspectives and methods of creative practice. Cultural diversity in the New Zealand context holds important potential for explaining expressions of use and continuing the development of Oceanic creative practice. I will assert that the indigenous spatial strategy known as vā (space) holds important potential to help understand the significance of collective relationships within the Oceanic creative community. Vā is an indigenous spatial strategy that captures the process of engaging with and nurturing connections that, I argue, should be at the forefront of the definition for Oceanic creative practice. By comparing established Eurocentric understandings of creative disciplines and processes to indigenous understandings and methodologies, this research will posit indigenous spatial strategies as not only relevant but pivotal to 21st-century creative exploration and practice. This research will contribute to the outlining of a framework that helps to define the authentic values held within Oceanic creative practice. ¹ Epeli Hau'ofa, "Our Sea of Islands," The Contemporary Pacific 6, no. 1 (1994): 160.

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  • Roster-Based Optimisation for Limited Overs Cricket

    Patel, Ankit (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The objective of this research was to develop a roster-based optimisation system for limited overs cricket by deriving a meaningful, overall team rating using a combination of individual ratings from a playing eleven. The research hypothesis was that an adaptive rating system accounting for individual player abilities, outperforms systems that only consider macro variables such as home advantage, opposition strength and past team performances. The assessment of performance is observed through the prediction accuracy of future match outcomes. The expectation is that in elite sport, better teams are expected to win more often. To test the hypothesis, an adaptive rating system was developed. This framework was a combination of an optimisation system and an individual rating system. The adaptive rating system was selected due to its ability to update player and team ratings based on past performances. A Binary Integer Programming model was the optimisation method of choice, while a modified product weighted measure (PWM) with an embedded exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) functionality was the adopted individual rating system. The weights for this system were created using a combination of a Random Forest and Analytical Hierarchical Process. The model constraints were objectively obtained by identifying the player’s role and performance outcomes a limited over cricket team must obtain in order to increase their chances of winning. Utilising a random forest technique, it was found that players with strong scoring consistency, scoring efficiency, runs restricting abilities and wicket-taking efficiency are preferred for limited over cricket due to the positive impact those performance metrics have on a team’s chance of winning. To define pertinent individual player ratings, performance metrics that significantly affect match outcomes were identified. Random Forests proved to be an effective means of optimal variable selection. The important performance metrics were derived in terms of contribution to winning, and were input into the modified PWM and EWMA method to generate a player rating. The underlying framework of this system was validated by demonstrating an increase in the accuracy of predicted match outcomes compared to other established rating methods for cricket teams. Applying the Bradley-Terry method to the team ratings, generated through the adaptive system, we calculated the probability of teami beating teamj. The adaptive rating system was applied to the Caribbean Premier League 2015 and the Cricket World Cup 2015, and the systems predictive accuracy was benchmarked against the New Zealand T.A.B (Totalisator Agency Board) and the CricHQ algorithm. The results revealed that the developed rating system outperformed the T.A.B by 9% and the commercial algorithm by 6% for the Cricket World Cup (2015), respectively, and outperformed the T.A.B and CricHQ algorithm by 25% and 12%, for the Caribbean Premier League (2015), respectively. These results demonstrate that cricket team ratings based on the aggregation of individual player ratings are superior to ratings based on summaries of team performances and match outcomes; validating the research hypothesis. The insights derived from this research also inform interested parties of the key attributes to win limited over cricket matches and can be used for team selection.

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  • Exploring the use of ICTs in non-profit sector organisations: supporting the third act

    Priyanga De Silva Senapathy, Nishanie (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Life after retirement from full-time work is known as the third act of an individual. In New Zealand the third act has become longer, resulting in an ageing population. An implication of population ageing is the need for increased support and services for older people who live within the community. Non-profit sector organisations primarily cater to those that are either beyond the reach of state services or are unable to afford services offered by the commercial sector. This study is guided by the central research question: how can non-profit sector organisations use ICTs to support service provision for older people living within the community? Using Lamb and Kling’s social actor model, adapted to the context of non-profit sector, the research project explores how ICT use is influenced by factors that are investigated under four key dimensions: affiliations, environment, identities and technology. Employing a case research method, it studies ICT use in four human services non-profit sector organisations. The analysis of the case studies revealed how external influences are enacted within organisations. The study presents a framework which explains post-adoptive use in non-profit sector organisations incorporating external factors, the organisational view and social actor behaviours. The findings suggest that client and funder information requirements influence organisations to select one of four responses to external cues. Organisations adopt either a complementary perspective, a competing perspective, a compatible view or a negotiated view. These organisational information perspectives craft social actor behaviours within non-profit organisations. Further, this study found information challenges associated with maintaining complex client requirements. Mobility of the work force, deficiencies in data capture and limitations of existing client information systems constrain information flow in these organisations. As a result analysis of service utilisation data fails to communicate the actual value created within communities. This study has extended the understanding of ICT use in non-profit human services organisations in New Zealand and contributed to knowledge in the development of the social actor model within specific contexts. The original contribution of this study is the three-tier typology of social actor- information roles. The study presents social actor behaviour associated with a primary entity and an information role. Five main social actor- information roles were identified across three tiers and have been mapped against a spectrum of information behaviours associated with each role. When responding to external cues social actors engage in task related behaviours associated with their information roles. By contributing to ICT use practices, this research presents new perspectives on the components of value in organisational processes. Identifying value adding and value communicating information flows, information loss and informal ICT support roles this study presents a detailed analysis of the factors that enhance and constrain ICT use within human services non-profit sector organisations.

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  • A high cadence photometric survey of five southern hemisphere Milky Way globular clusters.

    Walker, Douglas (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Milky Way galaxy is surrounded by some 200 compact Globular Clusters (GCs) of stars, containing up to a million stars each. GCs are dynamical test beds for investigating and proving theories of stellar evolution and harbour a wide variety of binary type star systems and variable stars. Variables include RR Lyrae stars and other stellar exotica, such as blue stragglers, cataclysmic variables, and low-mass X-ray binaries. Recently, a potential new class of rapidly pulsating stars, hydrogen-rich subdwarf (sdO) pulsators, has been discovered in the ω Centauri GC. This research employed difference imaging algorithms to produce time-series photometry data from the 10m Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and the European Southern Observatory 8.2m Very Large Telescope (VLT) and 3.58m New Technology Telescope (NTT) in La Silla, Chile to investigate the GCs: NGC 1904, NGC 2808, NGC 4833, NGC 5139 (ω Centauri), and NGC 6397. The following work was conducted: • a search for new discoveries in eclipsing binaries, contact binaries, BY Draconis stars, cataclysmic variables and other pulsating stars across all clusters; • generation of an updated set of Colour-Magnitude Diagrams (CMDs) to assist in classification of newly discovered variables; and • an analysis of the eclipsing binary stars and other variables. The result of this process was the discovery of 114 variable stars in NGC 5139, 19 of which were recovered from earlier surveys, leaving 95 potential new variable discoveries. This set includes 5 new eclipsing binary systems, 2 new short period EWs, 1 new low mass-ratio EW, 2 blue straggler stars and 2 RR Lyrae light curve shaped variables. For NGC 6397, 4 new variables are classified as BY Draconis stars associated with star spot activity and 1 potential eclipsing binary system was discovered.

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  • Quantifying human behaviour in a retail environment.

    Dahawi, Amr (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Robustly quantifying human behaviour in a retail environment raises research challenges around accurately and reliably recognising motion, age, gender, repeat customers and product acquisition in such unconstrained conditions. The motivation for this research is that computer vision can be used in the retail refrigeration industry to provide the shop/product owners with information about their clients, products, sales, stock levels and can also help with understanding the customers’ needs and psychology. This proposed method improves the accuracy of traditional face detection and recognition using depth information, in uncontrolled lighting environments and where the orientation of faces are not only front facing. Further proposed algorithms are tested on product recognition from a retail refrigeration unit in a retail setting. These proposed methods adapt Hue manifold, Haar cascade classifiers, SIFT and Local Binary Patterns Histograms. The face detection results of 96% recall and 100% precision together with face recognition results of 85% recall and 97%, indicates that the proposed method may be useful for improving face recognition in variable lighting environments where people do not stop moving and are not always facing the camera.

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  • Creating the business case for investment in organisational resilience

    Hatton, Tracy; Brown, Charlotte; Seville, Erica; Vargo, John (2016)

    Conference Contributions - Other
    University of Canterbury Library

    - To provide data to demonstrate the value of investment in organisational resilience; - To map the 5 year recovery trajectory of organisations; - To better understand the contextual factors that affect long term recovery.

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  • Immigrant entrepreneurs in Malaysia : an exploratory study on their business success and prospects in small retail business

    Abdullah, Moha; Nel, Pieter; Mellalieu, Peter; Thaker, Asmy (2016-02)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    It is commonly agreed that international migration is as old as human history. International migration also continues to define and reshape nations as well as affecting the culture and daily life of many people. While it would not be always correct to argue that its impact has always been benign, it is increasingly evident that migration consistently benefits the countries of destination and origin, as well as the migrants themselves. Similarly, it is undeniable that the economic development of a nation (both developed and developing alike) largely depends on the emergence of dynamic innovative entrepreneurs and new enterprise creation. Economic activities carried out by immigrant entrepreneurs and their enterprises could also be a huge potential source of entrepreneurial and economic impetus for the respective recipient countries. Their presence, role and contribution to the establishment and growth of new businesses, especially small business, in a country usually leads to economic prosperity and job creation (Ribeiro-Soriano & Mas-Verdú, 2015). The benefits of having immigrant entrepreneurs in the host country such as physical capital investment, job creation for local workers and contribution towards the country’s GDP receive considerable recognition (see Lin 2015). Congruent to this also, some countries provide special visas and entry programmes to the immigrant entrepreneurs in order to promote business activities and obtain foreign investment. Lofstrom (2014), for instance, notes that efforts to attract global immigrant entrepreneurs has not been limited to developed countries but also includes developing countries alike. While knowledge on the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs for socio-economic development exists from the traditional view of pull and push factors, there are at least two different views of the migratory pathways of international immigration. One argues that the push-pull factors of spatial imbalances in the distribution of production factors forces them to leave their place of origin for a relatively high expected outcome in the country of destination. In this regard, international migration offers technical skills and unskilled labour for receiving countries. Another view is that the immigrants with entrepreneurial and management skills are the basic source of entrepreneurial activities in the host country. These pathways of international migrants include those who search for the best place that offers opportunity for profit and to create their own jobs and employment for others. Like other countries, Malaysia is not exceptional in hosting many immigrants and some of them become entrepreneurs in their own ways, (Rahmandoust, Ahmadian, & Shah, 2011). As their presence in entrepreneurial pursuit is becoming increasingly noticeable, there is a need to explore their issues, challenges, and business prospects along with their antecedents. This is simply due to the fact that there is a dearth of knowledge and little empirical research that has been made available. As immigration continues to be a significant presence in Malaysia, it can be stated that some migrants are forced by circumstances to migrate. Others are attracted by the prospect of greater economic, social and educational opportunities for themselves and their families. Whilst many migrants take up positions in paid employment, a considerable proportion of them migrate specifically to initiate new venture startup activities. What are the specific characteristics of these entrepreneurs? What are their challenges, their successes, and their prospects for the future? What conclusions can be drawn? This article attempts to address these questions based on a survey on 314 immigrant entrepreneurs in Kuala Lumpur conducted early this year (2015).

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  • Horace is (not) there : a narrative approach to Horace's Sermones

    Wang, Dale (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Horace’s Sermones have attracted so much critical attention in their lives that another study of them seems superfluous. So upfront I confess that as I have read Horace’s Sermones, considered Horace’s Sermones, and tried to write about Horace’s Sermones, I have battled immensely between repeating what has already been said, and trying to write something new. As an approach I have attempted to write about the author of the text: The Sermones. While it has been written as two books, and while we are very aware of the author under whose name they have been organized: Horace, I think there is still space to say something about Horace as an author with a view towards gathering together the text under this title. We have arrived in the 21st century awash with authors and claims to authority. The newest laws being written and codified have to do with copyright, access and distribution rights of various art forms. The lucrative field of pop music has thrust the integrity, or lack thereof, of artists, labels and producers onto the front page. We are in a world with a serious crisis of authority. The term crisis however, betrays a characteristic, common -I think- to contemporary man, and that is to suppose that we live in a time of crisis. A crisis, as we know, is a time of picking and choosing, and even of the fabled ‘hard choices’. We believe we are in a crisis because, we believe, maybe for the first time, that we are all in a position to change the world. This crisis, however, has been around for millennia now. In his first satire of his second book, Horace raises the possibility of censorship for the reader to consider. While he avoids the thrust of the problem by playing on the words ‘lex’ and ‘bonus, malus’ etc., (Horace, 2.1) he still manages to capture the heart of the problem of being an author. Ownership of texts, authority over texts, and responsibility for texts are not obvious ideas that can be solved by placing the name of a person at the start or the end of a text. Decisions, peoples, laws and even one’s very self must be navigated in order to delineate clearly the relation of creator to creation. In this thesis I will be analyzing Horace’s satires one by one in the Books in which we have received them. I will first be delineating the various issues that prevent us from clearly knowing the author. I will also describe and engage with many of the authors who will be constant companions throughout my readings of each satire in Horace’s satirical books. In particular I will be discussing the books as narratives. Not that each poem contains a narrative, as some do and some do not, but as each poem contributes to a larger picture of Horace which I describe as a narrative. I will also be paying particular attention to the voices, which, at various points, enter, interpolate, and interrupt the satirist. The voice of the satirist will then be subjected to both a dialogic and narrative-driven approach. My approach mirrors the shape of my own thesis which will be quite linear (one could even call it a narrative) and will introduce my methodology, and the various other voices I will be engaging with throughout my reading of Horace’s poetry, followed by two chapters dealing with each Book of Horace’s Sermones in turn, and then my conclusions. I will not be analyzing Horace’s Epistulae in my thesis, although there is good reason to include them in a discussion of Horace’s satiric works. This was mostly for time and space. I believe, however, that the Epistulae could benefit from the same style of reading to which I will subject the satires.

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  • The emerging childcare strategy in European Union law : the struggle between care, gender equality and the market.

    Masselot, Annick (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis explores the European Union’s (EU) emerging engagement with childcare law and policy. It assesses the extent to which the EU has adopted a childcare strategy which responds to the need of caregivers (who are predominantly but not exclusively women), the requirement of gender equality and the well-being of children, whilst also supporting the EU’s economic aims. The institutions of childcare in EU law are analysed respectively from two broad perspectives: the interrelated and complementary provisions relating to childcare services and the rights of caregivers are considered separately based on their different legal bases. Although the building of an EU childcare strategy designed to set minimum common standards around childcare services appears to be relevant to employment and economic growth, this thesis argues that the EU has made little progress in relation to the adoption of such a coordinated strategy. It acknowledges the difficulties of regulating childcare services at EU level because of the lack of clear competence alongside heavily socio-cultural influences and some resistance from the Member States themselves. It shows that the role of the EU is mainly limited to encouraging Member States to adopt (preferably publicly subsidised) available, affordable and quality out-of-home childcare provisions as well as to provide a forum for information sharing. The thesis then moves on to provide a critical perspective on the Barcelona targets and the subsequent policies which, it is demonstrated, have failed to contribute effectively to gender equality and other EU values. It concludes that the EU’s ability to influence childcare regulation is limited to principle setting. Nonetheless, the thesis does establish that the EU actively addresses the rights of caregivers (especially mothers). The thesis notes how the EU has developed these rights along two broad areas - while rights to work-life reconciliation have mainly contributed to supporting the employment of women in the labour market, the Court of Justice of the EU has tied the concept of care to that of citizenship - and how the development of parents’ rights in these areas signifies the EU’s commitment to supporting childcare and the work of caregivers. However it is also clear that the rights to protect and empower caregivers have been patchy, insufficient and, in some areas, legally uncertain.

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  • Reducing dental anxiety in children using video self-modelling

    Andronico, Jessica (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This single case design study aimed to reduce dental anxiety in children using a point-of-view video self-modelling (VSM) intervention using a chroma-key technique. To meet criteria for inclusion two seven-year-old children were screened with the Children’s Fear Survey Schedule – Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS). Participants who met criteria completed a Behavioural Avoidance Test (BAT) and heart rate was measured. Participants viewed their VSM intervention four times over two weeks. The results showed that both participants’ anxiety decreased on the CFSS-DS scale. The overall findings support the hypothesis that dental anxiety could be reduced using a VSM intervention. The results also suggest that dental anxiety was displayed differently in these two young children and individual needs should be addressed.

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  • Teaching parents functional behaviour assessment to implement within their home with their children.

    Lindsay, Ilia (2016)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Problem behaviour is the most common reason why parents seek assistance of professional mental health services. Children who continue to engage in problem behaviour past typical development trajectories are at greater risk of developing enduring behavioural, social and academic difficulties and can place distress on the entire family system. Functional behaviour assessment (FBA) is a process which provides an explanation why problem behaviour is present and what purpose or function this behaviour serves the child. Thus, information gathered by the FBA processes is used to inform the choice of intervention. The present study developed and then taught, via two-two hour workshops, a brief parent training programme, the Parent Empowering Programme (PEP) on functional behaviour assessment and positive behaviour support strategies to a group of five participants in a group setting. Three participants then implemented PEP in their home with one of their children during a problematic home routine. The results showed that these parents were able to learn functional behaviour assessment skills and implement a small function-based intervention plan with some success in their own home. Social validity results indicated that the PEP was socially acceptable. Limitations in terms of parent data collection is discussed along with suggestions for future research.

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  • The Ethics of Infectious Disease Control: Lessons from the Ebola outbreak and an ethical framework

    McIvor, Joshua (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Ebola virus disease (EVD) devastated its way into news headlines in 2014, destroying communities across three West African countries and costing the lives of over 11,000 people. The global health response was widely scrutinised and criticised, and though the outbreak is now over, there are still many lessons that can be learned from the 2014 EVD outbreak. This thesis will use the EVD outbreak in two ways. Firstly, I will use the EVD outbreak as a case study through which I will strive to address the ethical concerns for using experimental treatment during the outbreak, and I will address ethical concerns of the use of quarantine during the outbreak. Second, I will use the EVD outbreak as a launch pad to examine broader and more abstract ethical principles of the ethics of infectious disease control, such as the principles of reciprocity, transparency, proportionality, and the harm principle. This discussion will highlight how physical, biological features of a disease very much impact the application of the above principles when it comes to controlling the disease in an ethical manner. Finally, from this observation, I have created a ‘disease taxonomy’ that categorises infectious diseases based upon, what I argue, are the most ethically relevant biological features of infectious diseases. The taxonomy can aid in preparing for, understanding, and responding to the most pertinent ethical issues that surround various infectious diseases. The thesis should leave the reader with not only a greater understanding of some of the ethical issues raised by the 2014 EVD outbreak, but also a solid framework to utilise in discussing the most pertinent ethical issues of any future outbreak of any infectious disease.

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  • Impact of Environmental Stressors on the Metabolic Functioning of a Temperate Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis

    Bone, Oliver (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses occur across a wide latitudinal range, from temperate to tropical locations in both hemispheres. In the tropics, this association provides the foundation for the development of highly diverse coral reef ecosystems. Tropical associations are particularly sensitive to thermal variability, however, leading to dysfunction of the relationship and eventual expulsion of the symbiont, known as ‘coral bleaching’. In contrast, temperate associations maintain stable symbiotic relationships in highly fluctuating thermal environments. The reason behind the relative thermal tolerance of temperate associations is still unclear, though the ability to maintain cellular homeostasis through adjustments to metabolic processes is likely a core feature of their resilience. Both a field study and laboratory experiment were conducted to determine the metabolic responses to thermal change of the symbiosis between the temperate anemone Anthopleura aureoradiata and the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium. For the field component, A. aureoradiata were collected from Point Halswell in Wellington Harbour in both summer and winter. For the laboratory experiment, specimens collected at Pautahanui inlet were thermally acclimated in the laboratory, after which temperatures were altered over the course of one week to either 8°C (cold) or 28°C (hot) and maintained at these temperatures for six weeks. Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry was then employed to determine the identity and relative quantity of a wide range of metabolites involved in primary metabolism including organic acids, fatty acids, amino acids and sugars. Based on these data, pathway activity profiling was used to determine the activity of different metabolic pathways both between seasons and in response to cold and heat treatment. A wide range of changes to metabolic processes were observed in both host and symbiont. Photosynthetic capacity was reduced in the symbionts at low temperatures and increased at high temperatures. The only organic acid to be significantly impacted was propanedioic acid, which increased in the host in response to cold treatment, potentially related to increased translocation from the symbiont. Altered fatty acid content in both host and symbiont was related to the role of fatty acids as energy sources and storage compounds and in cell signalling processes. Changes in fatty acid-associated metabolic pathways were exemplified by arachidonic acid and linoleic acid metabolism. Alterations to free amino acids and amino acid related pathways in both host and symbiont were associated with their role as antioxidants and osmoprotectants and the catabolism of amino acids for the production of energy. In symbionts only, altered amino acid content was associated with the role of amino acids in the production of alkaloids. Changes in a number of sugar derivatives in both host and symbiont were associated with their role as antioxidants and osmoprotectants. Altered sugar metabolism in the symbiont clearly indicated an increase in the production of energy rich sugar molecules and production of cellular energy in summer/hot conditions and a decrease in winter/cold conditions. Notably impacted pathways included the Calvin cycle, glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway and oxidative phosphorylation. Patterns of sugar related pathway activity in the host were generally opposite to that observed in the symbiont. Overall, prominent but opposing changes in the host and symbiont were detected in the central carbohydrate and energy metabolic pathways. In general, the activity of these pathways increased in the host in winter/cold conditions and decreased in summer/hot conditions, while in the symbiont the pattern was the opposite. These findings highlight the role of metabolic processes in enabling the persistence of a temperate cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis in the face of large temperature fluctuations. This work provides a foundation upon which a deeper understanding of metabolic functioning in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis can be built and provides a comparative platform for studies of the more thermally sensitive tropical associations.

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  • Towards a Better Understanding of High-Growth Technology Firms

    Greig, Sasha (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    High-growth has long been of interest to management academics, as they seek to understand how uncharacteristically high periods of revenue or employment growth occur, and the effects they have on firms, and the wider economy. However, despite the ongoing interest in the field, there have not been conclusive studies that are able to piece together all of the factors that may play a role in the occurrence of high-growth, and therefore there is still relatively little understanding of how and when high-growth occurs, and what control firms may have over such growth. This mixed-methodology research uses both quantitative analysis of high-growth patterns, and qualitative interviews with relevant firms to explore the factors commonly associated with high-growth. This allows for a better understanding of how high-growth may occur. The findings indicate that high-growth is typically the product of interactions between a range of factors. The most influential factor on high-growth appears to be the competence, expertise, and experience of those managing the firm, either in a directorial or managerial capacity. The findings also indicate that, while high-growth may not be entirely predictable, there are commonalities between the high-growth patterns that technology firms experience, such as the receiving of patents, or even inclusion in the TIN100 database. Overall, this research found that there appears to be much greater diversity in high-growth than previous literature tends to suggest. The research concludes with practical implications of these findings for firms and managers of these findings, as well as suggesting directions for future research in the field.

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  • Blue Cod, Parapercis Colias, Maturity, Fecundity, Sex Change, and Potential Drivers of Sex Ratio in The Marlborough Sounds

    Brandt, Kasper (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Blue cod, Parapercis colias (Pinguipedidae), are widely considered to be the most important recreational finfish species in the South Island. However, blue cod have been declining in abundance in the Marlborough Sounds for many years, and currently, sex ratios are highly male- biased. Blue cod are believed to be a socially structured hermaphroditic species whose populations are prone to local depletion. A potting survey in the Marlborough Sounds was carried out by NIWA in 2013, and along with environmental measurements, 3247 blue cod were measured, weighed, sexed, and stage of sexual maturity was classified macroscopically at sea. Gonads from a subsample of these fish were removed and preserved. In Chapter Two, the preserved gonads were processed histologically and a species-specific histological maturity key was developed. Histological and macroscopic maturity classifications and length-at-maturity estimates were compared. Additionally, estimates of spawning frequency and batch fecundity were made using histological and gravimetric methods. In Chapter Three, possible drivers of sex ratio were investigated using the survey data. Density, large male influence, and environmental factors were considered. In Chapter Four, the feasibility of using digital imaging software to age blue cod otoliths was investigated using the OtolithM application in ImagePro Premier. There was poor agreement between macroscopic and histological maturity classifications (20%, overall). Macroscopic methods overestimated the proportion of mature fish at length in the larger sample, which led to biased length-at-50% maturity (L₅₀) estimates. Macroscopic L₅₀ estimates differed markedly from histology estimates. Using histological data, male L₅₀ was 26 cm TL. Histology indicated that there was no length at which 100% of females were mature. Therefore, a three-parameter capped logistic model was used. Histologically, female L₅₀ was 23.6 cm TL, and the Cap was 0.78, indicating the proportion of mature females reached an asymptote at 0.78. Spawning frequency was 4.6 days, and mean relative batch fecundity was 6.5 hydrated oocytes per gram body weight (SD = 3.3). Hermaphroditism was confirmed for blue cod and was macroscopically identifiable. The analyses in Chapter Three indicated that density had some effect on sex ratio, and large males influenced local sex ratios. Finally, the imaging software could not accurately estimate age compared to an expert reader, and it produced highly variable age estimates. This research found that the macroscopic maturity classifications for blue cod were inaccurate, and revision of the macroscopic key is suggested. The biased estimates of L₅₀ from macroscopic data could lead to biased estimates of spawning stock biomass (SSB). Batch fecundity was markedly lower than the previously reported estimates. The finding of a macroscopically identifiable hermaphroditic stage suggested that ‘hermaphrodite’ should be added as a sex class in the macroscopic key. From the GLM in Chapter Three, in more dense populations, the proportion of males increased. This may have been from changes to male mating strategies, or density may influence the occurrence of primary and secondary males. Finally, areas with males > 45 cm TL had a higher proportion of females, suggesting that large males should be protected in order to help balance sex ratios.

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  • State of Flux: Rescuing Nelson's Waterfront

    Macquet, Jason (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The neglected coastal edge of the port landscape has left behind unreceptive scars on the city’s urban fabric. These prominent locations are pivotal links between coastal towns and the sea; they are currently in very poor condition.¹ This thesis explores a site with these characteristics, Nelson, nestled between the Southern Alps at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. The compact and intimate geography of the Nelson region is surrounded by the ocean; with the city growing central to its port. Due to the once thriving local exports and industrial trade the port hastily expanded, the inevitable decline of the industrial era has resulted in a landscape of disregard which has distanced the city from the water. These neglected waterfront locations now taint the pristine image of the Nelson Haven. This thesis examines how a carefully considered architectural design can reintegrate this pivotal location back into the city’s urban fabric while reinforcing the relationship between the people of Nelson and the water. This design-led research utilises the sport of rowing with its link to the water as the catalyst to reconnect the people of Nelson to the waterfront and the water itself. This design-led thesis employs the ideologies of atmospheric experiences to materialise the importance of water to sense of place. This is achieved by exploiting the atmospheric experiences of material, space and time through an architectural dialogue with the water’s duality. The Nelson Haven experiences vast tidal movements which forms the foundations for the experience observed at the interface of architecture and water. This thesis further argues that this framework of architectural experience has the potential to serve as a catalyst project to rejuvenate and reintegrate the city of Nelson with its prime waterfront location. ¹ “Rutherford & Trafalgar Parks & Maitai Walkway” Nelson City Council. accessed July 15, 2015. http://nelson.govt.nz/assets/Leisure/Downloads/R-and-T-parks-redevelopment.pdf.

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  • A Shore Thing - Flipping the Coast

    Inwood, Thomas (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A Shore Thing explores an alternative approach to the way future development can occur within New Zealand’s coastal hinterland regions. As global cities continue to expand in size and population, the desire and necessity to move ‘away’ is becoming increasingly prevalent. Wellington is a city that is densifying, yet due to its natural topography, it cannot expand. Townships within the Greater Wellington region are already growing and developing with a lack of developmental strategies to deal with more ermanent residents. As part of this growth, Transmission Gully motorway is a major infrastructural development occurring within the region to improve the connection between the Kapiti Coast and Wellington. Questions are raised…How will this infrastructure affect the townships? Can they withstand an influx of residents? What will happen to the natural process within this landscape? The main intention of this thesis is to develop a scheme for how people could settle within hinterland regions, specifically Paekakariki on the Kapiti Coast. The implementation of Transmission Gully stimulates Kapiti’s potential as a satellite region to Wellington city. This thesis will explore how infrastructure and landscape urbanism can be employed within a rural landscape to achieve a considered strategy that mitigates future pressures on a growing region. The role of landscape architecture plays an important role when exploring and understanding the varying scales within the scheme to ensure a legible framework is generated that integrates ecology, infrastructure, housing and public life.

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