615 results for Auckland University of Technology, Doctoral

  • Geospatial process modelling for land use cover change

    Nti, Isaac Kwadwo (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Human activities and effects of global warming are increasingly changing the physical landscape. In view of this researchers have developed models to investigate the cause and effect of such variations. Most of these models were developed for specific locations with spatial variables causing change for that location. Also the application areas of these models are mainly binary transitions, not complex models which involve multiple transitions, for example deforestation models which deal with the transition from forest lands to non-forest areas and urban growth transition from non-urban areas to urban. Moreover these land simulation models are closed models because spatial variables cannot be introduced or removed, rather modellers can only modify the coefficients of the fixed variables. Closed models have significant limitations largely because geospatial variables that cause change in a locality may differ from one another. Thus with closed models the modellers are unable to measure and test the significance of variables before their inclusion. This work investigated existing land use cover change (LUCC) models and aimed to find a geospatial workflow process modelling approach for LUCC so that the influence of geospatial variables in LUCC could be measured and tested before inclusion. The derived geospatial workflow process was implemented in DINAMICA EGO, an open generic LUCC modelling environment. For the initial calibration phase of the process the Weight of Evidence (WoE) method was used to measure the influence of spatial variables in LUCC and also to determine the variables significance. A Genetic Algorithm was used to enhance the WoE coefficients and give the best fitness of the coefficients for the model. The model process was then validated using kappa and fuzzy similarity map comparison methods, in order to quantify the similarity between the observed and simulated spatial pattern of LUCC. The performance of the workflow process was successfully evaluated using the Auckland Region of New Zealand and Rondônia State of Brazil as the study areas. The Auckland LUCC model was extended to demonstrate vegetative carbon sequestration scenario. Ten transitions were modelled involving seven Land Use Cover (LUC) classes and a complex dynamic LUCC for Auckland was generated. LUC maps for 1990 and 2000 were used to calibrate the model and 2008 was used to validate the model. The static spatial variables tested were road networks, river networks, slope, elevation, hillshade, reserved lands and soil. The hillshade and soil variables were found to have no significant impact in the LUCC for the Auckland area, therefore they were excluded from the model. If a closed model had been used these insignificant variables would have been included. The calibration phase revealed that wetland and cropland LUC areas in Auckland have not changed between 1990 and 2000. The validated LUCC model of Auckland, served as a foundation for simulating annual LUC maps for advance modelling of Carbon Sequestration by vegetation cover. In order to test the generic nature of the workflow process model a second case study was introduced that had a different data resolution, area extent and fewer LUC transitions. Compared to Auckland, the new Rondônia case study was a simple LUCC model with only one transition, with coarse data resolution (250m) and large area extent. The evaluation of the Rondônia LUCC model also gave good result. It was then concluded that the derived workflow process model is generic and could be applied to any location.

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  • Object-centric Intelligence: Sensor Network and Thermal Mapping

    Yamani, Naresh (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Quality of product is an important aspect in many commercial organizations where storage and shipment practices are required. Temperature is one of the main parameters that influence quality and temperature treatments of agricultural products therefore require special attention. The temperature variation in a meat chiller has a significant effect on tenderness, color and microbial status of the meat, therefore thermal mapping during the chilling process and during chilled shipment to overseas markets is vital. The literature indicates that deviations of only a few degrees can lead to significant product deterioration. There are several existing methods for thermal mapping: these includes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Methods (FEM) for examination of the environmental variables in the chiller. These methodologies can work effectively in non real-time. However these methods are quite complex and need high computational overhead when it comes to hard real-time analysis within the context of the process dynamics. The focus of this research work is to develop a method and system towards building an object-centric environment monitoring using collaborative efforts of both wireless sensor networks and artificial neural networks for spatial thermal mapping. Thermal tracking of an object placed anywhere within a predefined space is one of the main objectives here. Sensing data is gathered from restricted sensing points and used for training the Neural Network on the spatial distribution of the temperature at a given time. The solution is based on the development of a generic module that could be used as a basic building block for larger spaces. The Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) perform dynamic learning using the data it collects from the various sensing points within the specific subspace module. The ANN could then be used to facilitate mapping of any other point in the related sub-space. The distribution of the sensors (nodes placement strategy for better coverage) is used as a parameter for evaluating the ability to predict the temperature at any point within the space. This research work exploits the neuro Wireless Sensor Network (nWSN) architecture in steady-state and transient environments. A conceptual model has been designed and built in a simulation environment and also experiments conducted using a test-bed. A Shepard’s algorithm with modified Euclidian distance is used for comparison with an adaptive neural network solution. An algorithm is developed to divide the overall space into subspaces covered by clusters of neighbouring sensing nodes to identify the thermal profiles. Using this approach, a buffering and Query based nWSN Data Processing (QnDP) algorithm is proposed to fulfil the data synchronization. A case study on the meat plants cool storage has been undertaken to demonstrate the best layout and location identification of the sensing nodes that can be attached to the carcasses to record thermal behavior. This research work assessed the viability of using nWSN architecture. It found that the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) at the infrastructural nodes has a variation of less than 0.5C. The resulting MAE is effective when nWSN can be capable of generating similar applications of predictions.

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  • The effect of stroke rate on performance in flat-water sprint kayaking

    McDonnell, Lisa Kelly (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Stroke rate has been implicated as an important determinant of sprint kayaking performance via correlation analysis. This thesis determined the effect of stroke rate on sprint kayaking performance including: (1) What stroke rates are required to achieve medal winning times?; (2) What are typical self-selected stroke rates of New Zealand paddlers?; (3) Do paddlers respond well to stroke rate feedback?; and (4) What is the effect of increasing stroke rate on performance and technique? Two literature reviews, one quantitative descriptive performance analysis, two quantitative experimental reliability studies, two quantitative experimental biomechanical studies, and one quantitative experimental intervention study were completed. Elite K1 200-m world championship medallists’ average stroke rates ranged 144-168 spm for men and 131-147 spm for women in competition. New Zealand elite paddlers (males and females) typically rated 98-101 spm, but tests were limited to 300-m sprint training at “race pace” and during the last stage of an incremental ergometer test. It was best to assess stroke rates using time-trials. The typical self-selected stroke rates of New Zealand male sub-elite paddlers were 122 ±11 spm during K1 200-m time-trials. While metronome feedback targets were not fully achieved when increasing stroke rate by 5-10 spm, the metronome was effective for increasing stroke rate by 4-5 spm (2.9-4.2%). The stroke rate increase led to a 200-m performance time enhancement of 0.9-1.0% for sub-elite paddlers, where a general trend existed that faster paddlers responded better to the stroke rate increase. Other key variables that indicated better performances were shorter water phase times, aerial phase times, entry sub-phase times and exit sub-phase times. Overall, absolute phase and sub-phase times reported in seconds were more associated with performance than relative phase and sub-phase times. Increasing stroke rate using metronome feedback also caused reductions in water and aerial phase times. Water phase times were reduced primarily by reductions in pull sub-phase times. Pull sub-phase times were not significantly associated with performance, possibly indicating variability in the efficiency of the pull phase between skill levels on-water. Key segmental sequencing variables important for inducing a stroke rate increase between intensities were shorter durations of the pull arm, trunk, and leg actions. Decreasing forward reach was inevitable and decreasing pull arm time was the most important variable for increasing stroke rate, so paddlers should focus on reaching as far forward as possible without hindering their ability to quickly direct the paddle backward. Trunk rotation and leg extension movements increased with intensity and are considered important for performance theoretically for achieving greater paddle tip velocity when the blade enters the water by utilising a greater leg pedalling motion. In conclusion, New Zealand paddlers typically rated well below the recommended stroke rates required to achieve medal winning times in the K1 200-m event. Metronome feedback was effective for eliciting an acute stroke rate increase of 4-5 spm (2.9-4.2%), which led to performance enhancements of 0.9-1.0% in K1 200-m time-trials. Further research is needed to determine the ideal training strategies for making larger increases in stroke rate without losing efficiency in the pull sub-phase.

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  • Perceived and measured health benefits of aqua-based exercise for older adults with osteoarthritis

    Fisken, Alison Lesley (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Ageing is associated with a number of physiological and psychological changes. These include declines in muscle mass, strength, functional ability, and balance, which are associated with increased risk of falling and reduced quality of life. In addition, many older adults have osteoarthritis and the associated symptoms of joint pain and stiffness may exacerbate the age-related changes in physical function. Regular exercise can help offset the age-related declines in muscle strength, functional ability and balance, however many older adults do not regularly exercise. In particular older adults with osteoarthritis tend to have lower levels of physical activity than older adults without osteoarthritis. Aqua-based exercise is recommended for older adults with osteoarthritis due to the properties of water, however relatively few studies have investigated this type of exercise among this population. The first aim of this thesis was to investigate perceived benefits and barriers to participation in aqua-based exercise among older adults with and without osteoarthritis, who regularly engage in this form of exercise. The key perceived benefit for those with osteoarthritis was pain reduction, whilst those without osteoarthritis identified general health and fitness as the primary benefit. Both groups identified social interaction as an important benefit. Cold changing facilities, particularly during winter, was a key potential barrier for both groups. The second study examined perceived barriers and benefits of aqua-based exercise among older adults with osteoarthritis who had tried, but no longer participated in aqua-based exercise. Key barriers were a lack of suitable classes and insufficient instructor knowledge, as well as cold changing facilities and pool temperature. Benefits included the cushioning effect of the water and the ability to move around more freely. The third study was undertaken to gain greater insight into the effect of different types of aqua-based exercise on pain and heart rate response of older adults with osteoarthritis. In addition, participants’ opinions and attitudes towards each exercise mode were explored. Participants tried different types of aqua-based exercise including: hydrotherapy, which is a therapist-supervised programme which takes place in warm water; aqua-jogging, which simulates running in deep water whilst wearing a flotation device; resisted-aqua jogging, which is similar to aqua jogging but utilises resistance equipment to increase drag; aqua-fitness, which involves strength and cardiovascular exercises to music in the shallow end of the pool and resisted aqua-fitness, which is similar to aqua-fitness but resistance equipment is used to increase drag. Pain scores immediately post-exercise decreased for all modes of aqua-exercises. Heart-rate response and rating of perceived exertion was also similar for all aqua-exercise modes. Overall, participants enjoyed the hydrotherapy session most, however the aqua-fitness session (un-resisted) was also enjoyed and identified as an acceptable alternative to hydrotherapy. The final study explored the potential health benefits of a 12-week aqua-fitness intervention for older adults with osteoarthritis. An active control group, who undertook a seated aqua-based exercise session once a week, was used help minimise any effects of social interaction on the outcome measures. Positive physiological outcomes were associated with the aqua-fitness group who improved scores in several functional measures, as well as significantly reducing their fear of falling compared to the control group. The findings of this thesis are relevant for future design of aqua-based exercise interventions aimed at older adults with osteoarthritis. The research undertaken may help to identify and therefore address barriers to this mode of exercise for this population. Furthermore, the findings of this thesis offers some insight into the acute responses to different modes of aqua-based exercise, as well as long longer-term chronic adaptations to an aqua-based exercise programme similar to those which are readily available in the community.

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  • Spiritual vegetarianism: identity in everyday life of Thai non-traditional religious cult members

    Makboon, Boonyalakha

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis examines how the participants who are Thai and vegetarians integrate vegetarianism into their lives, and how they produce and maintain their vegetarian identity element. This video-ethnographic study was conducted in Thailand over the course of five months, with particular attention to three participants who are members of non-traditional religious cults in Thailand, where vegetarianism is a normal practice. Utilizing multimodal (inter)action analysis (Norris, 2004, 2011a), I conducted a micro analysis by teasing apart the participants’ real-time interactions, investigating how different modes come to play together to make certain actions possible. The analysis also incorporates other data from observational notes, sociolinguistic interviews and photographs. I discovered that the participants produced a spiritual vegetarian identity element in accordance with their religious belief. The participants produced multiple identity elements, including but not limited to their spiritual vegetarian identity element, at differentiated levels of the participants’ attention/awareness. At the time of the study, my participants did not continuously produce their spiritual vegetarian identity element, and thus a spiritual vegetarian identity was not their most salient identity element. However, I found that vegetarianism plays a significant role in the participants’ lives as they always produced their spiritual vegetarian identity element in connection with other identity elements. This results from the fact that these identity elements were developed within a religious context which was embedded in the historical body (Nishida, 1985) of the participants. Religion has exerted a substantial influence on many aspects of their lives and their resulting identity elements.

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  • Performance analysis of fielding and wicket-keeping in cricket to inform strength and conditioning practice

    MacDonald, Danielle Catherine

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The purpose of this thesis was to contribute to the scientific understanding of the performance demands of One Day International (ODI) fielding and wicket-keeping, and to provide recommendations for improving athlete performance, assessment and coach education. Two comprehensive literature reviews of the physical, technical, physiological and tactical components of fielding and wicket-keeping were conducted. Given the gaps identified in the literature reviews, an online mixed method survey of cricket players, coaches and trainers was designed to investigate the performance requirements of the wicket-keeper, close, inner and outer circle fielders. Players and coaches rated agility the most important physical attribute for the wicket-keeper (4.7/5), close fielders (4.6/5), and inner circle fielders (4.8/5). Speed (4.8/5) and agility (4.6/5) were rated most important for outer circle fielders. Coaches raised the issue of the lack of a cricket specific agility test. An emerging theme for all categories was the importance of the mental aspects of the game such as positive attitude and concentration, particularly for the wicket-keeper. To validate the use of video footage for performance analysis a comparison was made between televised and purposefully collected video for event coding. The variables of interest were derived from the literature reviews and corroborated by the survey. The ICC for intra-coder reliability for all but two variables was between 0.88 and 1.00 the exceptions were lateral footwork (step 0.83 and shuffle 0.55) likely due to the subjectivity of defining footwork patterns. The televised footage under-reported the frequency of wicket-keeping activity (≈4.5%), except for lateral footwork, which was under-reported by the purposefully collected video (≈13.5%) due to the movement being perpendicular to the camera view. Even though fielding activity was under-reported (≈4.25) by televised footage, this footage was deemed to be most appropriate, as the collected footage resulted in a field of view that made the finer details of fielding difficult to distinguish. Performance analysis studies on fielding and wicket-keeping were carried out using televised footage from the 2011 ODI World Cup. The majority of the wicket-keepers movements were lateral (75%); primarily repetitive low intensity movements interspersed with explosive movements such as diving and jumping. Wicket-keeping glove-work skills (69%) were the most performed skill activity, the quality of which was quantified using a catching efficiency measure (93%). Close, inner and outer circle fielders had variable involvement in fielding activities. Close fielders were involved in 20% of the fielding activity, the bowler the most (58%) involved. The inner circle fielders were involved in 50% of fielding contacts; of whom cover was the position most involved (21%) Inner circle fielders had to display the greatest range of skills within the field, such as catching from different heights, varied throwing and ground fielding techniques. Outer circle fielders were involved with 30% of the fielding contacts; the outer circle position most involved was long on (14%). Long sprints were the hallmark of outer circle fielding, following the sprint, they often had to perform explosive movements such as a dive or a jump to field the ball; they rarely had the opportunity to stop and position themselves to perform their skill. Additionally, catching (75%,89%, 85%) throwing (0%,12%, 33%) and overall fielding performance (89%,98%,99% ) were quantified using efficiency calculations for close, inner and outer circle fielders respectively. The findings of the literature reviews and studies expanded upon the only previous study to quantify fielding performance, and informed the development of performance profiles of fielding and wicket-keeping. Subsequently recommendations for assessment, training and coaching have been made, which will be integrated into New Zealand Cricket resources. Most notable are suggestions for improving the existing skill and physical testing batteries

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  • Tricksters, technology and spirit: practising place in Aotearoa-New Zealand

    Buxton, Maggie

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Place is a tricky concept. On the surface it seems a relatively simple notion, yet underneath there are layers of contested meanings. At the same time, places face ‘wicked’ problems – issues difficult to solve by traditional methods and approaches. For these reasons there is a call from across disciplines, for flexibility and creativity in place research. This thesis weaves together technology, art, spirituality and science to create a place practice inspired by tricksters. Tricksters appear in the narratives of most cultures as liminal, paradoxical and indeterminate figures. In this research they have new relevance at a time when the boundaries of life, including the lines between sacred and profane, are no longer clearly defined. They are an inspiration for a new form of place practice which creatively weaves together ubiquitous technologies, indigenous and speculative ontologies, and integral research methodologies. The proposition is that geo-locative mobile technologies can support the work of those who work with spiritual sites, and also support the spirit or spirits of those places, when used within a trickster-inspired place practice. What are the opportunities and issues that arise from this approach? Geo-locative mobile technologies augment physical spaces with digital content and can act as mediators between the self, the physical world, digital worlds and other worlds beyond. Technology is not usually associated with spirit. However, in this research technology paradoxically plays a role in supporting the spirit of place and contributes to a progressive understanding of that term. The place practice that informed this study was situated around three spiritually significant sites: a cemetery, a marae and a public park. Within each case study, a bricolage of inter-, intra-, and transpersonal data collection methods was enacted. Integral philosophies and trickster traits combined to create the unique methodology. This research joins traditionally separate discourses: spirit of place, tricksters, and geo-locative mobile technology. It addresses the need for more creative ways of working in and with place, and raises legal, moral, cultural, and political issues in the use of mobile technologies in indigenous and/or sensitive contexts. Findings demonstrate that mobile technologies can shift perceptions of self and place, make institutional knowledge more accessible, and build connections in the third space where cultures, histories, peoples and realities meet. In these ways the practice supports the spirit of place.

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  • The experiences of Korean immigrants settling in New Zealand: a process of regaining control

    Kim, Hagyun

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The success of all immigrants is significant to the harmony of New Zealand society since the government’s goal is to build an inclusive society. For many Korean immigrants, however, settling in an unfamiliar environment potentially disrupts familiar routines, with deleterious effects on almost all aspects of their well-being. Despite Koreans being the fourth largest group of Asian immigrants, their experiences of settling in this country have been unheard. The purpose of this study is to listen to the voices of Korean immigrants and provide information to the receiving society that will assist with developing ways to make a Korean presence part of the cultural diversity in society. This qualitative, grounded theory study included semi-structured interviews with 25 adult Korean immigrants living in the North Island of New Zealand. Theoretical sampling was used to collect data, which were analysed using methods of constant comparative analysis, conditional matrix and memoing. Through three stages of coding, data were fractured, conceptualised, and integrated to form a substantive grounded theory which has been named; A Process of Regaining Control: A Journey of Valuing Self. Upon arrival, participants confronted circumstances that made realising the anticipated benefits of immigration difficult. They experienced a loss of control in performing previously valued activities. Language barriers and limited social networks, compounded by prejudiced social reception, were associated with their decreased involvement outside the home, leading to fewer options for acquiring knowledge necessary to function autonomously in their new environment. In response, participants worked on Regaining Control by exercising choices over what they do through opting for enacting ‘Korean Ways’ or ‘New Zealand Ways’. They initially sought a culturally familiar environment in which they engaged in activities that involved drawing on previous knowledge and skills. Continuing with accustomed activities utilising ethnic resources provided a pathway to learning about their new surroundings and thus increasing their feeling of mastery in a new country. This experience strengthened participants’ readiness to engage in activities reflective of New Zealand society. The significance of this study is that it discovers that Valuing Self is what the participants wish to accomplish, beyond the scope of mastery in a new environment. Participants continually search for a place whereby they can be accepted and valued as members of society. However, this study reveals that prejudice and discrimination towards immigrants set constraints on engagement in occupations of meaning and choices. Immigrants face socio-environmental restriction when they continue with necessary or meaningful activities, even when they have the ability to execute a particular activity. This finding makes it clear that occupation is inseparable from the societal factors in which it occurs. Further research is necessary to explore societal contexts to enrich knowledge of human occupation and how immigrants’ full participation in civic society can be promoted. Specifically, it is recommended that researchers examine what makes Korean immigrants feel valued as members of society, from the participants’ point of view, in order to assist with the development of the settlement support policy and services that best facilitates their journeys of Valuing Self in New Zealand.

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  • Te Rongoā Kākāriki: Kanohi-ki-te-kanohi, e pai ana?

    Williams, Margaret H.

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    In Aotearoa New Zealand the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is three times higher for Māori than New Zealand European and is increasing. Participation of Māori newly diagnosed with T2DM with the Te Rongoā Kākāriki (Green Prescription, GRx) health service is lower than for New Zealand European. This thesis has four linked aims: i) to examine differences in the engagement and active participation (adherence) (Chapter 4), ii) to compare changes in physical and metabolic measures (Chapter 5) using a kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) mode of delivery or waea (telephone) for Māori and New Zealand European, iii) to better understand the perceptions, knowledge and activities of the participants that enabled them to participate (Chapter 6) and iv) to understand better how participants make and maintain lifestyle changes through the GRx health service. This GRx research study was a randomised trial (ACTRN012605000622606) using a kaupapa Māori framework and research principles, with a mixed methods approach, in which Māori and New Zealand European women and men newly diagnosed with T2DM were randomised to either kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) mode of delivery or waea (telephone) for six months. Physical and metabolic measurements were made, questionnaires completed and interviews undertaken at baseline, six and 12 months. After 12 months medical records were accessed for glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and lipid measures associated with metabolic risk. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine for differences among the categorical variables of ethnicity, mode of delivery and gender. A total of 152 (96 women, 56 men) participants aged 30-86 years consented to participate and completed baseline measurements. Recruitment was less than the target (240), but equal numbers of Māori and New Zealand European were recruited, from GRx referrals that were predominantly non-Māori. The participants included 68 Māori, 70 New Zealand European and 14 ‘Other’ (neither Māori nor New Zealand European). The main findings excluded the ‘Other’ group. More New Zealand European than Māori remained in the randomised trial at six (74% vs. 51%) and 12-months (56% vs. 30%), respectively. There was a trend for more participants to remain in the kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) (68%) compared with the waea (telephone) (58%) mode of delivery at six months. The physical and metabolic data revealed that at the end of the 6-month GRx intervention, for 88 participants, body weight was reduced by 1.6 kg (95% CI, 0.3 to 2.8) and waist circumference by 3.6 cm (95% CI, 2.4 to 4.9). At six months, of the 63 who had HbA1c measured there was a reduction of 1.3% (95% CI, 0.3 to 2.4). No differences by GRx mode of delivery, ethnicity or gender were observed in these analyses. At the 12-month follow-up, for the 59 participants measured (20 Māori and 39 New Zealand European), the body weight and waist circumference measures were reduced from baseline by 2.3 kg (95% CI, 0.5 to 4.0) and 5.5 cm (95% CI, 3.4 to 7.6), respectively. In 36 participants (12 Māori and 24 New Zealand European) the HbA1c was reduced by 0.6% (95% CI, 0.0 to 1.3). No differences for GRx mode of delivery, ethnicity or gender were observed. In general, improvements in physical characteristics were associated with improvements in HbA1c concentrations. The greatest improvement was in those who had higher HbA1c (worse glycaemic control) at baseline. Data from the questionnaires showed that most participants were inactive at baseline (≤ 30 min/day) and 25% reportedly increased their participation in walking activities at six and 12 months with no differences noted between mode of delivery, ethnic groups or gender. Overall, no changes in intensity and time spent in physical activity were found between six and 12 months. Optimism and positive self-belief in ability to manage their diabetes did not change. However, a small association was found between the changes in the perceived need for special training and changes in body weight, waist circumference and the diabetes empowerment score. Five key themes from the interviews, in relation to improved self-management of T2DM, were found. The themes involved: whānaungātanga: strengthening relationships; pātaka mātauranga: sharing knowledge; whakamana: empowerment; manaakitanga: giving and receiving support and assistance from others and pikitia ngā maunga: overcoming barriers. A shared responsibility of the participants, the researcher and Māori GRx kaiwhakahaere, including the general practitioner and/or practice nurse to communicate better and overcome barriers, was identified. Kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) was the preferred approach to GRx even though there were no differences in metabolic/physical outcomes with mode of delivery. Overall, participants endorsed that the initial kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) contact was instrumental to their understanding and participation. To conclude, the GRx health service delivered by Sport Waikato Regional Sports Trust was associated with comparable improvements in HbA1c and weight among Māori and New Zealand European with no difference between the two modes of delivery. Kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) contact was the preferred approach to GRx. Participation by Māori once referred was relatively high and probably higher than New Zealand European, but with high drop-out. Understanding of GRx was poor prior to entering the service. The major hurdle to GRx uptake among Māori appears to be in primary care. Primary care needs to improve their explanation of GRx and their linkage with the GRx programme. New strategies are required to maintain participation.

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  • Capturing recurring concepts in high speed data streams

    Sakthithasan, Sripirakas

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research addresses two key issues in high speed data stream mining that are related to each other. One fundamental issue is the detection of concept change that is an inherent feature of data streams in general in order to make timely and accurate structural changes to classification or prediction models. The shortcomings in the past research were addressed in two versions of a change detector that were produced during this research. The second major issue is the detection of recurring patterns in a supervised learning context to gain significant efficiency and accuracy advantages over systems that have severe time constraints on response time to change due to safety and time critical requirements. Capturing recurrent patterns requires the detection of concept change with minimal false positives. This research addresses this latter problem as a pre-requisite to formulating a novel mechanism for recognizing recurrences in a dynamic data stream environment. The first approach to change detection, termed SeqDrift1 that relies on a detection threshold derived using the Bernstein bound and sequential hypothesis strategy ensured much lower false positive rates and processing time than the most widely used change detector, ADWIN. The second version of the change detector, SeqDrift2, achieved significant improvement on detection sensitivity over SeqDrift1. This was achieved through two separate strategies. The first was the use of reservoir sampling to retain a larger proportion of older instances thus providing for better contrast with newer arriving instances belonging to a changed concept. The second strategy was to trade off false positive rate for detection delay in an optimization procedure. The net result was that SeqDrift2 achieved much lower detection delay than SeqDrift1 but sacrificed some of its false positive rate when compared to SeqDrift1, while still retaining its superiority with respect to this measure vis-à-vis ADWIN and other change detectors. Having proposed a robust and efficient mechanism for change detection two different meta-learning schemes for recurrent concept capture were proposed. A novel framework using the two schemes consists of concept change detectors to locate concept boundaries, a Hoeffding tree compressor to exploit the application of Discrete Fourier Transform on Decision Trees to produce compact Fourier Spectra, a forest of Hoeffding Trees to actively learn and a pool of Fourier spectra to be reused on similar recurring concepts. In the first scheme, termed Fourier Concept Trees (FCT), each Fourier spectrum is separately stored and reused on similar concepts. Accuracy and memory advantages have been empirically shown over an existing method called, MetaCT. In the second scheme, instead of storing each spectrum on its own, an ensemble approach, Ensemble Pool (EP), was adopted whereby several spectra were aggregated into single composite spectrum. The major advantage of this strategy over the first was the reduction in storage overhead as redundancies in separate spectra are eliminated by merging into one single entity. In addition, Fourier spectrum generation is optimized with theoretical guarantees to suit high speed environments. Extensive experimentation that demonstrated the benefits including accuracy stabilization, memory gain, reusability of existing models etc., has been done with a number of synthetic and real world datasets. This includes a case study on a Flight simulator system which is one of the target applications of this research.

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  • Dynamic process of user adaptation to complex mandatory information systems

    Wanchai, Paweena

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The introduction of a complex system, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, requires users to adapt to the simultaneous requirements of the new system and the associated organisational and business process changes. Unsuccessful adaptation to complex mandatory systems generates significant financial and opportunity costs to organisations and makes some employees feel dissatisfied with their jobs. Previous information systems (IS) research provides important insight into IS use. However, there is a lack of an in-depth study of the process of user adaptation that explains how user adaptation behaviours change over time and what triggers users to modify their system use behaviours. This study unveils the dynamic adaptation process and offers an explanation of how adaptation behaviours unfold over time. The fieldwork was conducted in four organisations in Thailand: one private, one state-owned, one non-profit and one multinational. An embedded multiple-case study design was applied in this research. Using the critical incident technique, 46 in-depth interviews were conducted with ERP users, managers and IT specialists. Grounded theory informed both the method of data analysis and the technique for theory building. As a result of an inductive theorising process, three intertwined core themes emerged. The first theme, user adaptation behaviours, reflects the different ways in which users respond to the evolving work practices that an ERP system imposes. The second theme, situational conditions, reveals the underlying conditions that influence the user adaptation process including social-task-user conditions and system-business process comprehension. The third theme, triggers, refers to events that change user perceptions towards the system or changes in the work environment. This study produces an emergent, substantive theory that explains how individuals dynamically adapt to complex mandatory IS. These adaptation behaviours, which are shaped by situational conditions, manifest in the form of reluctant, compliance, faithful and enthusiastic adaptation behaviours. Through their interaction with the system, individuals are constantly assessing the system in relation to the existing situational conditions. The adaptation behaviours espoused at any given time can be subsequently modified through task-related, organisational-related and system-related triggers.

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  • Comparative analysis of construction procurement systems based on transaction costs

    Rajeh, Mohammed

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Within construction procurement, Transaction cost economics (TCE), offers a mechanism to understand ‘unseen’ costs associated with the pre and post-contract work. Pre-contract, these include costs related to information gathering and procurement. Post-contract they include activities of contract administration and enforcement. This research investigates the relationship between procurement system and transaction costs (TCs) in the New Zealand construction industry, developing a theoretical model of relationship between procurement systems and TC. The model was operationalized and developed into a questionnaire. A cross-sectional sample approach was deployed, involving questionnaire survey, interviews, and research verification through ‘real world’ cases. Data was sought from professionals in management, design and operations (i.e. project managers, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, and procurement officers). These professionals represented several construction organizations and NZ Councils (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin). TCs were measured using time-spent conducting procurement related activities as a surrogate for cost. Professionals evaluated their time spent on procurement activities using a 5-point Likert scale, comparing the Traditional and Design-Build delivery systems. 96 responses (74 usable) were received from a sampled population of 360 (27% response). This data was triangulated with interviews to test and explain the model. The tests included Validity and Reliability Tests, Path Analysis, Regression Analysis, Factor Analysis, and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The primary analytical technique used was Structural Equation Modelling to yield information on Goodness-of-Fit, model development and comparison, and confirmatory strategies. SPSS Amos 21 statistical software was used for data analysis and model development. The data demonstrated univariate and multivariate normality assumptions underlying SEM testing of research hypotheses. Of 43 hypotheses tested, six null hypotheses were rejected, demonstrating a positive relationship between the costs of information, procurement, administration, and enforcement with TCs. Additionally environmental uncertainties have indirect significant impact on TCs. The results suggest procurement systems have indirect impact on TCs, which is fully mediated by costs of information, procurement, administration, and enforcement. Finally, for research results verification, the models were applied to real-life cases (four Traditional, two Design-Build). TCs were calculated using regression equations based on factor loadings in the Traditional and Design-Build models. It was found that TCs in the Traditional system amounts to 18.5% of the annual salary cost of a project manager (as an indicator quantum), while in the Design-Build system, it amounts to 14.5% of the annual salary cost of a project manager. This study applies a new theoretical model for procurement selection based on TCs, investigating and empirically demonstrating the influence of procurement system on TCs in construction. It also offers a new plausible explanation for the factors influencing TCs in procurement. The findings have practical implications on construction business practice due to their robust empirical nature and theoretical framework, which might enhance the performance of the construction industry. The study contributes to the procurement selection in construction, by introducing a new conceptual model for the link between procurement systems and TCs. It has extended the current practices for procurement selection by estimating TCs for different procurement systems, specifically for the Traditional and Design-Build systems for comparison. This study emphasizes ‘in-house’ TCs from the perspective of the client, consequently the study recommends that the work be expanded to determine the ‘out-of-house’ TCs from the contractor perspective. Furthermore that to expand the relevance of the findings further work using the same methodology should be used to measure TCs for other procurement systems for comparison purposes. Finally, this study calculates TCs within projects, so it was recommended to further explore intra-organizational TCs in construction.

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  • An investigation of droplet evaporation characteristics in an ultrasound environment

    Protheroe, Michael Desmond

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study investigates and quantifies the effect of an imposed ultrasound field on the evaporation of water droplets in, for example, humidifiers used in medical respiratory treatments. The purpose of the ultrasound field is to accelerate the droplet evaporation process. This would have benefits in terms of improved efficiencies, more compact equipment sizes and better process controllability. A preliminary investigation was carried out to identify the most promising mechanisms for the effect of the imposed ultrasound field on the evaporating droplets – this being the enhancement of the normal mass and heat transfer processes involved. From this, theoretical models of normal and ultrasound enhanced droplet evaporation were developed to predict the rates of water evaporation and also changes to the droplet size distribution during evaporation. An experimental investigation was carried out to measure water droplet evaporation rates and changes to the droplet size distribution under normal and ultrasound enhanced conditions. It was found that the ultrasound field improved droplet evaporation rates in all cases tested, even at very low power levels. Improvements varied from 1 – 30%. An increase in the strength of the ultrasound field increased the improvement in evaporation rate. However, air flow above a certain threshold diminished this improvement by disrupting the ultrasound field. Investigation of the changes to the droplet size distribution indicated that at high ultrasound power levels and low air flow rates a significant amount of droplet coalescence occurred which caused the droplet distribution for the remaining droplets to shift to much larger droplet sizes. Results from theoretical models compared well to the experimental results for most experimental conditions. Differences between model and experiment occurred for the very small droplet sizes and where the effect of the ultrasound field caused maximum droplet coalescence and heating of the air and these areas warrant further future investigation. It was concluded that the ultrasound enhancement of water droplet evaporation does occur by enhancing the heat and mass transfer processes involved, that improvements in evaporation rate up to 30% could be achieved and that this could be applied to medical respiratory equipment to improve its operation and efficiency.

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  • Veitalatala: Mātanga ‘o e Talanoa

    Toluta'u, Talita Kiume

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study is concerned with representation. It considers the nature of a culturally located, discursive form called veitalatala and its creative translation into designed artifacts that consider the lyrical and graceful nature of Tongan women’s talanoa. The designed outcomes of the project consider the memories of three hou’eiki fafine (Tongan women) who left their homeland to settle abroad. Veitalatala: Mātanga ‘o e Talanoa is a creative synthesis of their talanoa, into new forms of artistic narrative, designed to capture the cultural and emotional resonance of their identities. The lyrical works orchestrate photography, animation, musical composition, sound design, filmed interviews, graphic design, sublimation printing on ngatu, and extensive postproduction experimentation, into unique texts that move the parameters of traditional documentation beyond conventional audio/visual interview. In so doing, the ngatu portraits and filmic veitalatala conceptually, contribute to the Tongan concept of luva (giving). Although Churchward (1959) defines veitalatala as a distinctly poetic form of talanoa, recent interviews with Havea (2014), Puloka (2014), Taliai (2014), Manu’atu, (2014), Taufa (2014), and Taumoepeau (2014) suggest that veitalatala is a complex and nuanced form of communication with diverse origins. Significantly, Tongia (2014) associates the term veitalatala with hou’eiki fafine. He suggests that it is a harmonious form of communication historically and socially related to the female gender. This thesis proposes through practice, that the tenets of veitalatala may be extended into artistic artifacts to create a contemporary, lyrical, yet culturally consistent means of representing histories and memories of Tongan hou’eiki fafine.

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  • Factors influencing the airport customer experience: a case study of Auckland International Airport's customers

    Losekoot, Erwin

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The aim of this study was to investigate the factors influencing the airport customer experience. Much current research and management effort on airports focuses on efficiency, effectiveness, speed of processing and rankings on international league tables. These measures seem to reward those airports which can best move the largest number of passengers and their luggage. The writer of this study believed that the ‘experience’ of the ‘airport customer’ (passengers and those meeting or farewelling them) is not being given sufficient prominence at a time when it is recognised that the ‘experience economy’ can add value and create customer loyalty. New Zealand’s largest airport was the case study location for this research, and 120 interviews were undertaken in the airport environment with people who were experiencing the airport, either as arriving or departing passengers, or those greeting or farewelling them. In addition, 10 interviews were undertaken with airport management to explore their perceptions of the airport customer experience. All interviews with airport customers were undertaken in the land-side food court area of the international terminal. A plan of the airport is provided in Appendix 2 to assist the reader in understanding the layout of the airport. The guided conversations were focused on encouraging participants to share their perspective of the airport customer experience in order to build on what is already known from the quantitative surveys of passengers which are the more common form of research into airports. Together with the above data, the writer also kept a detailed research diary with observations made over the course of the data gathering phase. Hermeneutics guided the interpretive process which resulted in a number of overarching themes or notions which form the basis of this study’s findings. These include processes, people, physical environment and ‘placeness’. However, the research also uncovered what the writer has termed a ‘personal travel philosophy’. There was a significant number of people who, despite delays and other obstacles to their travel plans, appeared to be remarkably content with their lot at the airport, and this term is used to describe that group. The research concludes with a proposed model of the airport customer experience addressing five aspects – physical environment, processing, people, placeness and personal travel philosophy – and provides recommendations for airport management and opportunities for further academic research both in airports and in congruous areas such as hospitals. Airport management must spend time making people feel welcome if these spaces are to be perceived as hospitable places. The contribution that this thesis makes to the body of knowledge is a deeper understanding of the factors influencing the airport customer experience in the customers’ own words. It allows the voices of airport customers to be heard in a way that has not previously happened, in part because the dominant paradigm is a positivist one of facts, figures, benchmarks and league tables. By taking the time to listen carefully in an open-ended discussion, this research has identified much of what the airport customer really feels about the space they are obliged to spend an increasing amount of time in.

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  • The influence of Confucian values: students’ understandings of classroom behaviours and learning practices in a university in Central China

    Song, Jinhua

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The research aims to investigate the influences of Confucian values on university students’ classroom behaviours and learning practices in Central China. Using a Foucauldian 'genealogical approach' the thesis investigated the extent to which contemporary students in a Western/central university still employ Confucius's ideas in their thinking about education, and in their own learning practices, in the classroom and outside it. The interviews showed how deeply embedded Confucian ideas were: to the extent that they were part of the students' conception of their own identities, despite the inroads of competing ideologies. The results highlighted individual students’ ability to reflect on Confucian values, and demonstrated the significant role played by students’ notice of their own identities in dealing with the influence of Confucian values. The study identified some similarities to and differences from existing literature. It made a new contribution to knowledge by exploring the overlooked element of Confucius' emphasis on joy in learning. It broke new grounds by exploring the tensions in student’s minds as they reconciled Confucian traditions, Maoist ideas and western ideas. The students’ views gave fresh insights into students’ agential powers and structural or cultural influences in the area of learning. This research provided an opportunity for students to reflect on their individual practices in their environment, to voice their concerns, and to uncover their own deep assumptions and tradition by unearthing the influence of Confucian values on their learning ideas, behaviours and practices. All teachers of Chinese students can benefit by being aware of these influences on their students. The research results could be used to develop university policies. Also learning skills support and teaching pace might be made culturally relevant, especially when students come from a Chinese cultural background.

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  • Identification of fall-risk factor degradations using quality of balance measurements

    Bassement, Jennifer

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Falls concern a third of the people aged over 65y and lead to the loss of functional ability. The detection of risks factors of falls is essential for early interven- tion. Six intrinsic risk factors of fall: vision, vestibular system, joint range of motion, leg muscle strength, joint proprioception and foot cutaneous propriocep- tion were assessed with clinical tests before and after temporarily degradation. Standing balance was recorded on a force plate. From the force plate, 198 parameters of the centre of pressure displacement were computed. The parame- ters were used as variables to build neural network and logistic regression model for discriminating conditions. Feature selection analysis was per- formed to reduce the number of variables. Several models were built including 3 to 10 condi- tions. Models with 5 or less conditions appeared acceptable but better performance was found with models including 3 conditions. The best accuracy was 92% for a model including ankle range of motion, fatigue and vision contrast conditions. Qualities of balance parameters were able to diag- nose impairments. However, the efficient models included only a few conditions. Models with more conditions could be built but would require a larger number of cases to reach high accuracy. The study showed that a neural network or a logistic model could be used for the diagnosis of balance impairments. Such a tool could seriously improve the prevention and rehabilitation practice.

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  • Individual and Event-specific Considerations for Optimisation of Performance in Track Sprint Cycling

    Wiseman, Damian

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The track sprint cyclist is a unique athlete, and uncharacteristic of any other sprint athlete, they perform a portion of submaximal work prior to sprinting in most events. The nature and implications of this submaximal work are not well understood and there has been little investigation in elite athlete populations. An inertial load ergometer was constructed to investigate this prior work and also to track the responses and progression of training and fatigue. This ergometer was shown to be both reliable (CV elite participants: peak power = 0.7% (90% CI, 0.5-1.0), optimal cadence = 1.6% (90% CI 1.2-2.7) and valid (CV elite male participants, peak power = 4.6%, 90% CI 4.0-5.4%, r = 0.81). Smallest worthwhile changes in peak power (53 Watts) and optimal cadence (1.4RPM) were determined for this ergometer test. An opportunity to track and monitor a group of internationally successful track sprint cyclists through two pinnacle events allowed for a better understanding of the structure and consequence of their training. Application of a novel training stimulus using a counterweighted single legged modality at two contrasting cadences, in an attempt to confer a greater resistance to fatigue, also provided some interesting and unexpected results. It was found that the impact of the simulated prior work in the keirin on peak power was approximately 54% of that in the sprint (keirin -5.68%, ES = 0.23, sprint -10.52%, ES = 0.44) while optimal cadence only dropped 60% as much in the keirin (ES = 0.61) compared to the sprint (ES = 0.86). The duration and intensity of this prior work was determined to be responsible for the magnitude of degradation in peak power and optimal cadence. Importantly it can be interpreted that the change in optimal cadence reflects the net result of intrinsic muscle changes and optimisation to output the highest power capable. Single legged ergometer training at contrasting training cadences (70 and 130rpm) appeared to have positive impacts on T0 (maximal torque) identified during inertial testing and on mean crank torque during longer duration testing (30s), but not resistance to fatigue. The effect likely related to changes in muscle coordination as a result of the training stimulus. The improvements in T0 appear to be greater in elite male athletes following the higher training cadence. It is likely this improvement in crank torque through these race specific ranges will enhance the athlete?s ability to accelerate. In summary, inertial ergometry is a reliable, valid and useful tool for assessing change over time in the track sprint cyclist. Understanding and management of acute and chronic fatigue and determining the appropriateness of the training stimulus are important in achieving the greatest impact on performance. Improving resistance to fatigue will potentially have a concomitant (negative) impact on optimal cadence which is contradictory to what has been hypothesised in the literature with respect to optimising performance. The nature of the relationship that optimal cadence has to performance is questioned as it would appear that optimal cadence is the net result of intrinsic optimisation of muscle properties to achieve a maximal power output (either peak or for a given duration).

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  • The effects of cognitive task complexity on writing

    Frear, Mark Wain

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis contributes to research on the effects of cognitive task complexity on the written complexity of second language learners, an area currently underrepresented in research. In addition, the variables pre-task planning time and post-task editing time, which bookend the writing process, are investigated, as are the potential effects of task motivation on syntactic output. This research was conducted on 94 intermediate English learners from three Auckland language schools. Two variations of the positivist/normative approach were used: an experimental model investigating cause and effect between the main variables, and an associative model to explore the strength of association between task motivation and syntactic output. Participants were placed in three groups in which three letter-writing tasks of varying cognitive complexity and Likert-scale questionnaires were performed over two sittings. Each group had different conditions; these were no planning time, 10 minutes pre-task planning time, and 10 minutes post-task editing time. Additional factors investigated were the potential benefits of using a patently low complexity task, the effects of modality, the use of a non-standard measure of syntactic complexity, and the efficacy of Robinson’s predictions for resource-directing and resource-dispersing variables. The results suggested that increases in cognitive task complexity may adversely effect dependant clause production, but benefit lexical production; however, the inclusion of pre-task planning time appeared to aid dependant clause production while slightly decreasing lexical complexity. Proficiency issues rendered the post-task data unusable. Potential support for Robinson prediction was posited for lexical complexity in the non-planning group, and both syntactic and lexical complexity in the planning time group; however, this support came with the caveat that the results were framed within a limited attentional framework. Overall, the patently low complexity task appeared useful, though the potential for the low complexity task to be a different task type remains a potential issue. Modality only appeared to benefit task complexity development when it was compounded with pre-task planning time. The new measure of syntactic complexity revealed significant results not noticeable using the older measure. Regarding task motivation and subordination, negative perceptions of task relevance and expectancy may have contributed to decreases in motivation and thus attention demanding syntax. However, a further negative construal was posited to have elicited either positive or neutral results. Negative task construal, and its theorised reduction of attention maintenance across Dörnyei’s (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010) motivational task processing system, may be especially effective during the attention demanding formulation of dependent clauses under increasing cognitive task complexity.

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  • The Anointed Church: Towards a Third Article Ecclesiology

    Liston, Gregory John

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The phrase Third Article Theology is used in two senses: first to characterise a methodological approach that intentionally starts with the Spirit; and second as the theological understanding that emerges from this approach. Over recent decades, Spirit Christology has utilised the approach of Third Article Theology to gain insight into the person and life of Christ. This thesis extends the methodology in order to construct the constituent features of a Third Article Ecclesiology. The research divides into three parts. In part one, following a description of Third Article Theology and its application to Christology, it is argued that the Spirit informs the connection between other theological doctrines and ecclesiology. Following this insight, a methodological framework is developed that examines ecclesiology from the vantage point of other doctrines, through a pneumatological lens. Given their advanced state of development, the doctrines of Christology and the Trinity were chosen as the initial vantage points from which to observe ecclesiology. Part two examines ecclesiology from the perspective of Christology, through the lens of the Spirit. By critically utilising the ecclesiologies of Barth and Zizioulas as complementary starting points, it is argued that coherently accounting for the Church’s humanity and divinity requires both the Son and Spirit’s ecclesial roles to be logically distinguished without being existentially separated. This leads to analogically comparing the Spirit’s involvement in Christ and the Church. Five pneumatological parallels between Spirit Christology and the Church inform the development of a Christological Third Article Ecclesiology, which is determined as being tripartite in nature, relational in identity, unique in context, Christ-centred in orientation, Christotelic in momentum, indivisible in constitution, cruciform in shape, missional in purpose, and narrative in character. These constituent features are contrasted with other ecclesiologies that over- or under-emphasise the roles of the Son and the Spirit in the Church. Part three examines ecclesiology from a Trinitarian perspective. It is first argued (with Habets and Weinandy) that Spirit Christology implies a Trinitarian understanding where the Father (the originating person) begets the Son (the personed person) in or by the Spirit (the personing person), and the Son returns love to the Father by the Spirit of Sonship given to him. Second, it is demonstrated that the analogical link between the Trinity and the Church is not reflective (cf. Volf’s approach) but intrinsically pneumatological—the Spirit’s ecclesial role parallels the Spirit’s immanent identity. Based on these initial determinations, this thesis explores the implications of the immanent identities of the Spirit and the Son (as identified above) being reprised on a series of expanding stages: Christologically, soteriologically, and most pertinently here ecclesiologically. The resulting Trinitarian Third Article Ecclesiology characterises the Church as existing in any and all relationships where by the Spirit the love of Christ is offered and returned. The constituent features of this understanding are contrasted with ecclesiologies derived from alternative Trinitarian starting points. A concluding discussion explores extending this research to other doctrinal vantage points—particularly eschatology and the world—and examines how the various pneumato-ecclesiological perspectives gained could be integrated to construct a comprehensive Third Article Ecclesiology.

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