10,210 results for University of Waikato

  • Employee fairness perceptions of performance appraisal: a Saint Lucian case study

    Narcisse, Sharon; Harcourt, Mark (2008)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This research identifies the essential factors which influence employees' fairness perceptions of their performance appraisals, and determines the applicability of these factors to the experiences of employees in a Saint Lucian public service organization. Fairness perceptions are of three main types. First, distributive justice refers to the perceived fairness of an actual appraisal rating. Second, procedural justice refers to the perceived fairness of procedures used to determine the appraisal rating. Third, interactional justice refers to the perceived fairness of the rater's interpersonal treatment of the ratee during the appraisal process. A qualitative case study method was used to gain a rich understanding of employee perceptions of the fairness of their performance appraisals. Data were obtained from both completed appraisal forms and interviews with 20 knowledgeable employees. All interviews were transcribed and assessed using a thematic analysis. Overall, results show that distributive, procedural, and interactional justice factors identified in the existing literature influence employee perceptions of fairness in their appraisals. Results suggest that employees also consider four additional justice factors, as yet not formally recognized in the justice literature, one distributive – the consistency in reward distribution – and three procedural – appraisal frequency, job relevant criteria, and rater and ratee training.

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  • Impacts of Early Childhood Education Social Obligations on Families and Whanau

    Randall, Judith (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores the impacts of ECE social obligations on affected families and whānau. In 2013 ECE social obligations were introduced through the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill. These obligations require beneficiaries to ensure their children are “enrolled in and attending an approved early childhood education programme from the age of three, until they start school” (Work and Income New Zealand, 2013c). A qualitative approach was utilised to hear the voices of those affected. Data was gathered through interviews with eight beneficiary families and two ECE centre managers who had knowledge of the impacts of obligations. Perceived impacts were analysed using thematic analysis. An examination of the discourses underpinning these obligations as represented in policy documents was undertaken utilising Bacchi’s (2000; 1999) “what’s the problem?” framework. The introduction of the ECE social obligation policy was found to have placed responsibility on beneficiaries but to have failed to adequately address barriers to ECE participation that families face. The study identified many barriers which impede a family’s ability to participate in ECE. These include transportation, cost, and provision of high quality, suitable ECE for their children available in their local community. Mandatory ECE does not provide the infrastructure needed to enable families to access ECE programmes as it does not address the accessibility, structural, and personal barriers that families face. The thesis argues that the context of incorporating ECE policy in Ministry of Social Development (MSD) legislation and the use of sanctions to ensure compliance is likely to lead to negative outcomes for children’s well-being. Policy-as-discourse analysis identified that social obligations were conceived in the context of reducing long-term benefit dependency. The three interrelated dominant discourses underpinning this policy, economic rationalisation, the positioning of beneficiaries as job seekers, and the positioning of children as vulnerable, has left the child as citizen invisible. I advocate that redefining the problem through a child as citizen lens could provide a framework for government to support families through barriers and address provision of high quality ECE. Three key suggestions are made. Firstly, utilisation of a child’s rights framework could ensure children’s rights are at the forefront of ECE policy. This would enable the primary emphasis to be on the welfare and best interests of all children. Within this framework this study identified the need for ECE matters to be in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, rather than MSD, in order to ensure consistency and accessibility to quality ECE for all children. Secondly, ECE engagement needs to be promoted through a positive model rather than sanctions. Government financial investment in integrated ECE services within local communities could aid families to overcome participation barriers and provide an ideal model for enabling families to access social services. Thirdly, government policy and funding needs to support provision of high quality ECE services that are responsive to their local communities. Such services are essential to encouraging ECE participation.

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  • The collectors : Naval, Army and Air Intelligence in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the Second World War

    Tonkin-Covell, John (2000)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis examines the performance of the intelligence collection organisations of the armed services of New Zealand during the Second World War. It considers the intelligence bodies of the Navy, the Army and the Air Force and looks at their growth, development and demise, and assesses their effectiveness as intelligence organisations. The question of how much New Zealand could be expected to achieve in the field of intelligence arises, not least because New Zealand was demographically small, had a long coastline and was geographically relatively remote. How much could New Zealand contribute to the Allied cause in intelligence terms is another issue, and what forms did any participation take? Were there lessons to be learned from the wartime experience (there were, but they went for the most part largely unheeded)? New Zealand, like other countries, had a fragmented approach to intelligence collection, making for a degree of complexity over a range of activity, despite the intelligence organisations being of modest size. The examination of the organisations in this thesis includes multi-service and multi-departmental dimensions along with the production of useful intelligence. Whether good use was made of intelligence collected is another matter. There was a substantial amount of liaison, contact and practice between departments of state as to various aspects of intelligence, the Organization for National Security and coastwatching being two notable areas. The overarching role and limitations of the Organization for National Security with regard to intelligence is explored, and the development of a combined intelligence centre examined. The participation of New Zealand signals intelligence organisations in the great Allied interception offensive is detailed, along with the mundane but fundamental task of coastal surveillance. The establishment and spectacular decline of the first local independent security service is traced. Both the intelligence and security aspects of the Army's operationally deployed units are covered, along with the growth of RNZAF air intelligence. The effectiveness of all of these organisations could hardly be expected to be uniform, and indeed it was not. Some bodies succeeded in their collection roles beyond expectations, others were reasonably effective, and two organisations failed dismally in different ways, for a number of reasons. If a pattern emerges at all, it is that small single service component-type intelligence sections collecting operational intelligence were the most effective New Zealand intelligence organisations. Operational focus and. operational requirements underlay the drive for successful collection. Most significant within the Allied context were the signals intelligence bodies. At the other end of the scale, larger co-operative interdepartmental New Zealand intelligence ventures failed to deliver projected results. New Zealand's armed forces had an interesting variety of intelligence contributions during the Second World War. Of these, the most effective organisations collected intelligence to meet directed operational requirements.

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  • Development of an aluminium filled epoxy insert using perfactory rapid prototyping technique and electroless nickel plating for low volume plastic injection moulding

    Rajaguru, Janaka Chandraguptha (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    In this research, a rapid tool for low volume production plastic injection moulding is designed, developed, and tested on an injection moulding machine. The tool is designed as a cavity insert of injection mould for plastic parts by an indirect rapid tooling approach. The plastic part is modelled in a CAD system and then built using a Perfactory rapid prototyping (RP) technique. Then a layer of nickel-phosphorous alloy is deposited on the prototype by electroless plating. This nickel plated RP model is then used as a casting pattern. A cavity insert, which is produced by using aluminium filled epoxy resin with the nickel plated casting pattern, is fabricated in a mould base for injection moulding. Experimental testing on the cavity insert using an injection moulding machine show that the tool is producing quality parts without any noticeable deterioration of the surface. The number of shots completed using the cavity insert is more than 600. Applying electroless nickel plating on the casting pattern made of rapid prototyping material was successful. It was found that pre-treatment processes are crucial. In addition, the rapid prototyping material cannot be plated with nickel without palladium activation and stannous sensitising. Results show that the deposited layer is uniform and composed of both nickel and phosphorous. The surface properties of the nickel and phosphorous deposit enhance the plated layer performance due to their low surface roughness and high lubrication characteristics. Moreover, the nickel-phosphorous layer also improves the surface hardness of the cavity insert since it is left on the cavity after the removal of the casting pattern. The cavity insert was installed on an industrial injection moulding machine for trials. Results show that the cavity insert performs well with Polyethylene at 170˚C at an injection pressure in the range of 80 ~ 100 bar. There are no signs of wear and tear on the cavity insert up to 620 shots. However, when the injection pressure is over 120 bar, cracks start developing in the cavity insert followed by catastrophic fracture. This research has shown that manufacturing an indirect rapid tooling using electroless nickel plating for low volume production of plastic injection mouldings is feasible for Perfactory produced RP models. The cavity insert can be fabricated using commonly available low cost materials within 48 hours.

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  • Hybrid Solid-State Hydrogen Storage Materials

    Benge, Kathryn Ruth (2008)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis investigates the chemistry of ammonia borane (NH₃BH₃) relevant to the development of hydrogen storage systems for vehicular applications. Because of its high hydrogen content and low molecular weight ammonia borane has the potential to meet stringent gravimetric hydrogen storage targets of >9 wt%. Two of the three moles of H₂ in ammonia borane can be released under relatively mild conditions, with the highest gravimetric yield obtained in the solid-state. However, ammonia borane does not deliver sufficient H₂ at practical temperatures and the products formed upon H₂ loss are not amenable to regeneration back to the parent compound. The literature synthesis of ammonia borane was modified to facilitate large scale synthesis, and the deuterated analogues ND₃BH₃ and NH₃BD₃ were prepared for the purpose of mechanistic studies. The effect of lithium amide on the kinetics of dehydrogenation of ammonia borane was assessed by means of solid-state reaction in a series of specific molar ratios. Upon mixing lithium amide and ammonia borane, an exothermic reaction ensued resulting in the formation of a weakly bound adduct with an H₂N...BH₃-NH₃ environment. Thermal decomposition at or above temperatures of 50◦C of this phase was shown to liberate >9 wt% H₂. The mechanism of hydrogen evolution was investigated by means of reacting lithium amide and deuterated ammonia borane isotopologues, followed by analysis of the isotopic composition of evolved gaseous products by mass spectrometry. From these results, an intermolecular multi-step reaction mechanism was proposed, with the rates of the first stage strongly dependent on the concentration of lithium amide present. Compounds exhibiting a BN₃ environment (identi-fied by means of solid-state ¹¹B NMR spectroscopy) were formed during the first stage, and subsequently cross link to form a non-volatile solid. Further heating of this non-volatile solid phase ultimately resulted in the formation of crystalline Li₃BN₂ - identified by means of powder X-ray diffractometry. This compound has been identified as a potential hydrogen storage material due to its lightweight and theoretically high hydrogen content. It may also be amenable to hydrogen re-absorption. The LiNH₂/CH₃NH₂BH₃ system was also investigated. Thermal decomposition occurred through the same mechanism described for the LiNH₂/NH₃BH₃ system to theoretically evolve >8 wt% hydrogen. The gases evolved on thermal decomposition were predominantly H₂ with traces of methane detected by mass spectrometry.

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  • Portfolio of Compositions: Systematic composition of cross-genre hybrid music

    Mayall, Jeremy Mark (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    The research focus of this PhD thesis is the development of a new technique for composing original musical compositions in which elements from different musical genres are hybridised. The innovative aspect of achieving balanced hybridity is the development of a systematic approach to selecting and synthesising or hybridising key musical elements across a range of different genres. The major component of this submission is a portfolio of nine original works with attached CD/DVD recordings. 1. Tracking Forward for viola, backing track and video 2. The Long White Cloud for chamber band and electronics 3. ‘Colorless green ideas sleep furiously’ for orchestra 4. Push for Miles for electric bass and backing track 5. Norse Suite for viola and cello 6. The Foggy Field a studio construction 7. Into the Nocturnal Sunshine for flute, viola, cello, drums and electronics 8. One Night, New Breath for taonga puoro, viola, drums and electronics 9. Sketches of an Intergalactic Earworm for piano trio and boombox The accompanying documentation clarifies, and contextualises the creation and presentation of these works; and illuminates the aesthetic underpinnings and compositional techniques developed and utilised as a part of this hybrid-genre compositional approach. The structure of the supporting exegesis is in two parts: the methodology of practice-based research, and reflective investigation. Part One (Chapters 1 and 2) is an introductory overview; an observation of the existing literature and related work, relevant creative practice in the composer’s previous work; and the compositional methodology – including an explanation of the genre matrix. Part Two (Chapters 3 to 12) analyses the use of genre, the balance of hybridity, and relevant compositional techniques utilised in the development of each individual piece.

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  • The Further Analysis of Catania's Concept of the Operant

    Zhang, Yi (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Catania’s theory of the operant incorporated the continuous characteristic of behaviour, where the response distribution follows a normal distribution. That is, most responses fall within the reinforced range, a few responses persisted outside of the reinforced range. Three roosters and three hens were used as the subjects. A continuous reinforcement (CRF) schedule was implemented throughout both experiments of the study. In Experiment 1, the screen was divided into four quadrants. Only one quadrant was active in each condition and the active area shifted to a different quadrant across conditions. Each peck within the active quadrant was considered as a correct response, which results in reinforcement. Each peck outside the active quadrant was considered as an incorrect response, which results in extinction. In Experiment 2, the screen was divided into vertical strips. During Conditions 1 to 8, the consequences for the correct and incorrect responses are the same as Experiment 1. In Condition 9, the consequence for the incorrect responses changed from extinction to punishment (delay to reinforcement). That is, a 3 second red screen was followed with each occurrence of an incorrect response. It was found that the incorrect responses persisted during each condition of the two experiments for most birds. It was also found that most of the hens’ responses were correct responses by the end of each condition in Experiment 2. However, for all birds in Experiment 1 and the roosters in Experiment 2, most responses were not correct by the end of each condition. The findings of Experiment 2 also indicated that the changes in condition length, active area’s size, and consequence of the incorrect responses might have had some influence on the number of incorrect responses. Overall, the findings demonstrated behavioral continuity through exploring the distribution of response proportion when reinforcement was placed on the correct responses, and when extinction or punishment was placed on the incorrect responses. Thus, the study provided some empirical support towards Catania’s concept of the operant.

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  • Constructing and Reconstructing Criminality in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Dominant Media Discourses on Crime and Criminality and their Impact on Offenders’ Identities and Rehabilitation Efforts

    Riches, Murray (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study investigates the dominant media discourses and ideologies surrounding crime and criminality in Aotearoa/New Zealand, how such discourses are constructed and legitimised by media reporting of crime, and the implications of these discourses for deemed offenders. The study firstly involves a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of ‘mainstream’ media reports relating to crime and criminality in Aotearoa/New Zealand over a 12-month period – paying particular attention to the reporting evident in two major newspaper outlets. This analysis reveals two key themes: the construction of criminal offenders as undeserving criminalised others – particularly through the use of truth-claims about criminality and the simplification of offenders’ identities – and the legitimisation of retributive, tough-on-crime, responses to offending. The analysis of media discourses is augmented by an ethnographic study of an offender rehabilitation programme. This investigation is used to explore how dominant discourses and ideologies on crime and criminality contribute to the construction of offenders’ self-identities, the impact of such identity construction on their patterns of offending and rehabilitation, as well as the ways in which these discourses are contested (or reinforced) by those deemed ‘offenders’. This follow-up ethnographic case study involves participant observation, focus groups and interviews with participants of the Good Lives Model offender rehabilitation programme at Anglican Action in Hamilton over a 12-month period. The participants of this programme are men transitioning back into the community after serving significant prison sentences. The ethnographic investigation reveals the ways the otherising discourses exposed in the CDA are present for, and effect, the men as they make the challenging journey out of prison, particularly in their experiences of discrimination and otherisation when seeking to engage with, and transition back into, the wider community. This exploration also reveals a nuanced negotiation of identity and power, whereby the men both draw on and challenge the dominant discourses at different times in the process of negotiating an identity position and accessing agency within a marginalising discursive framework. Thus, the discourse analysis and the ethnographic study together provide rich insights into the pervasive impacts of dominant public constructions of criminality on offenders’ sense of identity and on their attempts to reintegrate with society. The study concludes by arguing that the CDA and ethnographic investigation together emphasise the need to challenge the destructive nature of the dominant discourses and cultivate a more inclusive and reasoned discursive framework for exploring ideas around crime and criminality in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The thesis argues that one way to counter the ‘wilful blindness’ exemplified in media and public discourses, is through the use of story for it is through listening and seeking to know the other that we can begin to have our assumptions challenged. It is important to note that this thesis in no way endorses any criminal offending nor does it seek to minimise the pain and suffering of any victims of crime. Rather, it argues that such a dualistic understanding of crime, and the relationship between victims and offenders, only inhibits our ability to look at the issues surrounding crime and criminality with clarity.

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  • Perceived causes of initial development and relapses in anorexia nervosa: A comparison to theoretical models of aetiology

    Batenburg, Gabrielle (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Anorexia nervosa is a disorder which causes significant impairment, both acute and chronic, for those who experience it. Anorexia nervosa is associated with a long-term course and high rates of relapse. The purpose of this research was to investigate the perspectives of those with anorexia nervosa on aetiology and their views on causes of relapse. The aim was to gain a better understanding of how those with anorexia nervosa conceptualise it; compare it to theoretical models and considered how these perceptions may relate to treatment. Sixteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight participants, consisting of eight initial interviews, then eight follow-up interviews to reflect on preliminary findings. Findings related to three main domains: definitions of anorexia nervosa, causes of initial development, and causes of subsequent episodes (relapses). Individual and collective definitions of anorexia nervosa were markedly different from diagnostic definitions, mainly due to the increased detail but there was also contention around how diagnostic definitions focus on body image and resistance to recovery. Causes of anorexia nervosa in this study matched other in-depth research of accounts, but varied with respect to aetiological models. A key difference uncovered in this study was the emphasis placed by participants on different aspects of anorexia, which fell outside of weight and body image concerns, and notable that these aspects became a part of the reasoning for anorexia. Perspectives on the causes of relapse indicated three main categories: those which were present during initial development, those which were present during the initial development but only became significant after experiencing anorexia, and those which were unique to relapse. Due to the limited research in this area it was challenging to compare these findings to other studies; however, they do represent an important aspect of treatment and research, which could be enhanced. A model of aetiology of anorexia nervosa was developed integrating current findings with established theoretical models and research; key influences contributing to relapse were also modelled. Relevant recommendations for diagnosis, treatment, and relapse prevention are presented throughout the discussion.

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  • LinkedIn for Personnel Recruitment and Selection: A New Zealand perspective

    Heynes, Seth James (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study explored how the professional networking site LinkedIn is being used and perceived by recruitment and selection practitioners within New Zealand organisations. In recent times LinkedIn has seen large increases in membership and it has become a resource used by recruitment and selection practitioners. LinkedIn is conceptualised as a professional networking site which can be perceived differently to social networking sites such as Facebook. Specifically this study sought to determine how common the usage of LinkedIn was, the features being used by recruitment and selection practitioners, how these features affect or influence perceptions and decision making of recruitment and selection practitioners, and if LinkedIn was being used alongside Social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Participants were recruited from various New Zealand university alumni groups, professional membership groups and various organisations. Eligibility for the research required individuals to be conducting the role of either recruitment or selection within their current positions within New Zealand. The final sample consisted of 135 participants, and descriptive and thematic analysis was conducted on the survey responses. The results indicated that 66.4% of the sample were using LinkedIn for both personnel recruitment and selection. LinkedIn was used more for recruitment purposes with both recruitment and selection practitioners indicating that LinkedIn can be perceived as a resource for recruitment and selection. Results further indicated that many organisations did not maintain any formal policy regarding LinkedIn use within recruitment and selection procedures. Results indicated that the most frequently used features of LinkedIn were the Profile, and Jobs & Hiring features. The professional information sub feature, alongside previous experience and qualifications obtained, was perceived to be the most important and it influenced aspects of recruitment and selection decision making. Facebook was indicated to be the most used social networking site alongside LinkedIn, with 88% of participants having reported using Facebook for recruitment and selection. The results also showed that recruitment and selection practitioners perceive many disadvantages of LinkedIn such as lack of credibility, inaccuracy of information and that LinkedIn may not be appropriate for certain job roles. However, LinkedIn was perceived as a resource which maintained beneficial professional information. As stated by Barber (1998, as cited in Breaugh & Starke, 2000), this research has sought to address gaps in the literature regarding practitioners’ attitudes towards recruitment sources and to investigate influencing aspects on recruiter and selectors’ decision making. The research addresses both of these aspects by highlighting attitudes of practitioners towards LinkedIn and identifies some of the more influential features of LinkedIn on practitioners’ decision making. This is beneficial for practitioners as it indicates the positive and the negative aspects of LinkedIn which is a scarcely researched topic while also addressing the research gaps mentioned by Barber (1998). The current research has confirmed LinkedIn as a resource for recruitment and selection; however, LinkedIn lacks predictive validity and future research, such as predictive validation studies could be conducted to identify whether LinkedIn provides any incremental validity beyond the traditional predictors of job performance.

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  • Algebraic Properties of Chromatic Polynomials and Their Roots

    Gilmore, Hamish Julian (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    In this thesis we examine chromatic polynomials from the viewpoint of algebraic number theory. We relate algebraic properties of chromatic polynomials of graphs to structural properties of those graphs for some simple families of graphs. We then compute the Galois groups of chromatic polynomials of some sub-families of an infinite family of graphs (denoted {Gp,q }) and prove a conjecture posed in [15] concerning the Galois groups of one specific sub-family. Finally we investigate a conjecture due to Peter Cameron [8] that says that for any algebraic integer α there is some n ∈ ℕ such that α + n is the root of some chromatic polynomial. We prove the conjecture for quadratic and cubic integers and provide strong computational evidence that it is true for quartic and quintic integers.

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  • Chicken Feather Fibre Mat/PLA Composites for Thermal Insulation

    Qin, Xin (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    In order to add more economic value to chicken feather, a waste material of the poultry industry, it has been researched to incorporate chicken feather fibre (CFF) into resin to produce value-added composites. In the present research, chicken feather fibre was separated from the rachises and used to produce fibre mats. Then fibre mats were incorporated into polylactic acid (PLA) to make composites with low thermal conductivity. The procedure for making chicken feather fibre mat using an automatic dynamic sheet former was explored. Two different composite fabrication methods were investigated. One involved fabricate composite samples by hot pressing chicken feather fibre mats with PLA sheet. The other involved making composite specimens by hot pressing PLA powder and chicken feather fibre mats. A decrease in tensile strength compared to PLA had been expected before composite specimen fabricating according to previous research and so alkali treated fibre mats were used to improve tensile strength of composites. It was concluded that chicken feather fibre mats with uniform quality could be made by controlling the jet-to-spin ratio and water wall thickness of the dynamic sheet former cylinder. Stable mat/PLA composites could be fabricated by hot pressing chicken feather fibre mats with PLA powder. Results from tensile testing indicated that alkali treatment could improve tensile strength to a small degree. SEM image analysis revealed that poor interfacial bonding between fibre barbs and PLA matrix had occurred. Thermal conductivity testing demonstrated improved thermal insulation with addition of CFF to PLA.

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  • An Evaluation of Public Participation in the Environmental Impact Assessment Process of the Maldives

    Zuhair, Mohamed Hamdhaan (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a proactive tool that assesses and addresses the environmental and social impacts of development projects. It has been identified as a process that can potentially deliver the goal of sustainable development. Public participation is an important aspect of both EIA and sustainable development. In many countries EIA provides the only opportunity for the public to participate in decision-making processes. Nevertheless, research reveals that meaningful public participation in EIA in most countries remains a false promise, with consultations undertaken only as an administrative necessity and with the public having no real power to influence the decisions. It is argued here that, in order for public participation in the EIA process to be effective and promote sustainable development, the process needs to follow participatory principles promoted by deliberative democracy. This research investigates the EIA process of the Maldives, a developing island nation in the Indian Ocean. The low-lying nature of the country makes it extremely vulnerable to environmental change and, therefore, sustainable development is high on the agenda for the Maldives. It is a worthwhile case to study as the political context of the country is changing with the Maldives’ recent embracing of democracy. Moreover, the EIA regulations of the country were recently amended in an attempt to make the process more robust. These changes provide an interesting context for the research. In addition, there is very little prior literature on EIA in the Maldives and hence this research is an opportunity to contribute to a still limited body of scholarship. An interpretive phenomenological research paradigm was adopted in designing the research. A multimethod qualitative research design was selected, with documents and semi-structured interview being the primary data sources. A conceptual framework based on the reviewed literature was developed and used to direct the research design. In this respect, four aspects that ensure a deliberative participatory process were investigated: fairness, competence, willingness, and capacity. The findings reveal that the participatory procedure in the Maldives is neither fair nor competent. Moreover, several socioeconomic barriers that affect the capacity and willingness of the actors to participate were identified: namely, political influence, a lack of human and financial capacity, gender gap, a loss of community spirit, and a lack of environmental and procedural awareness. This thesis contributes to the scholarship on public participation in the EIA process. It specifically helps to identify key challenges for effective public participation in the Maldives EIA process. In this regard, both procedural and socioeconomic barriers were identified. The recommendations proposed are based on the findings of the research, and, if adopted, can lead to more meaningful public participation and thus potentially help to achieve the goal of sustainable development through the EIA process.

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  • User-centric Visualization of Data Provenance

    Garae, Jeffery (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The need to understand and track files (and inherently, data) in cloud computing systems is in high demand. Over the past years, the use of logs and data representation using graphs have become the main method for tracking and relating information to the cloud users. While it is still in use, tracking and relating information with ‘Data Provenance’ (i.e. series of chronicles and the derivation history of data on meta-data) is the new trend for cloud users. However, there is still much room for improving representation of data activities in cloud systems for end-users. In this thesis, we propose “UVisP (User-centric Visualization of Data Provenance with Gestalt)”, a novel user-centric visualization technique for data provenance. This technique aims to facilitate the missing link between data movements in cloud computing environments and the end-users’ uncertain queries over their files’ security and life cycle within cloud systems. The proof of concept for the UVisP technique integrates D3 (an open-source visualization API) with Gestalts’ theory of perception to provide a range of user-centric visualizations. UVisP allows users to transform and visualize provenance (logs) with implicit prior knowledge of ‘Gestalts’ theory of perception.’ We presented the initial development of the UVisP technique and our results show that the integration of Gestalt and the existence of ‘perceptual key(s)’ in provenance visualization allows end-users to enhance their visualizing capabilities, extract useful knowledge and understand the visualizations better. This technique also enables end-users to develop certain methods and preferences when sighting different visualizations. For example, having the prior knowledge of Gestalt’s theory of perception and integrated with the types of visualizations offers the user-centric experience when using different visualizations. We also present significant future work that will help profile new user-centric visualizations for cloud users.

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  • Magic as a Tool of Social Construction: Cultural and Gender Identity in Contemporary Fantasy

    Elder, Matthew J. (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Contemporary fantasy is a genre that exists outside the boundaries of what consensus society constructs as socially normative. It re-appropriates and subverts facets of reality in order to place the reader in a position from which they can re-assess their own socially constructed identities, perspectives, and assumptions. Fantasy accomplishes this goal by expressing the familiar in a mode of hyper-exaggeration designed to highlight the ways in which the ideals and issues are constructed. In this way fantasy questions and critiques reality. This thesis examines how the contemporary fantasy genre uses magic as a tool to highlight the less visible social forces of reality such that the reader can gain insight into how and why social norms come to be established, as well as how they might be changed. It discusses the presentation of conflicting cultural and gender identities within fantasy worlds. Works by Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Jim Butcher, Peter V. Brett, and Patrick Rothfuss will be drawn on. By looking to the magic of the world as a focusing lens, these social conflicts and differences become clearer. The discussions undertaken in this thesis demonstrate an approach to contemporary fantasy literature that can be further utilised across a multitude of subgenres and social issues of contemporary reality.

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  • Primary school teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness and its importance as a factor in learning to read

    Clark, Linda Kaye (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The purpose of this research was to gain an understanding of the knowledge that teachers in New Zealand primary school classrooms have in regard to phonemic awareness, their understanding of its importance as a factor in learning to read, and the methods they use to assess and teach it. International assessments continue to highlight an unacceptably large gap in reading achievement between good and poor readers in New Zealand primary schools (Mullis, Martin, Foy, & Drucker, 2012; Tunmer, Chapman, Greaney, Prochnow, & Arrow, 2013a). Up to 20% of children in New Zealand primary school classrooms are struggling to learn to read (Education and Science Committee, 2001, 2008; Education Review Office, 2005). Research shows that explicit instruction in phonemic awareness will help children struggling with reading to learn to read (Ehri et al., 2001; Hatcher, Hulme, & Snowling, 2004; Nicholson, 2003; Pressley, 2006; Ryder, Tunmer, & Greaney, 2008; Strattman & Hodson, 2005; Torgesen et al., 2001). Teachers’ knowledge of phonemic awareness becomes important in the context of providing this explicit instruction. An online survey was used to assess 68 in-service teachers’ knowledge of phonemic awareness. Four semi-structured interviews were also conducted which allowed the survey findings to be investigated further in four local contexts to add depth to the researcher’s understanding. Results revealed that participants struggled to define phonemic awareness, and did not understand the differences between phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, and phonics. Participants found some tasks more difficult than others, in particular phoneme counting and phoneme identity. There were also discrepancies between the participants’ perceived knowledge and their actual knowledge. Participants tended to overestimate their actual knowledge, perceiving themselves as more knowledgeable with regard to phonemic awareness than they actually were. Phonemic awareness did not appear to be regularly assessed nor explicitly taught in most of the participants’ classrooms. The findings suggest that the teachers who participated in this study did not typically have the knowledge of phonemic awareness needed to be able to provide the explicit instruction in phonemic awareness children struggling to learn to read need in order to become successful readers.

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  • Suboptimal Choice Behaviour across Different Reinforcement Probabilities

    Yang, Le (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Six adult roosters’ choice behaviour was investigated across a series of five experimental conditions and a series of replication of the same five experimental conditions. Stagner and Zentall (2010) found that pigeons prefer to choose an alternative with highly reliable discriminative stimuli but with less food reward over an alternative with non-discriminative stimuli but with more food reward. The current research systematically changed the probability of reinforcement associated with the discriminative stimulus through a series of experimental conditions. Experimental sessions were completed with six adult roosters. The experimental procedure was based on Stagner and Zentall’s (2010) experiment in which the suboptimal alternative with discriminative stimuli was associated with 100% reinforcement on 20% of the trials, and non-reinforcement on 80% of the trials; the optimal alternative with non-discriminative stimuli was associated with both 50% reinforcement on all trials. This research modified the probabilities of reinforcement associated with the discriminative alternative. In the first experimental condition, the probability of getting access to reinforcement was the same (50%) for each discriminative stimulus, thus, what was seen for the first time was that both alternatives were associated with non-discriminative stimuli. To insure reliability, a replication of the conditions was done after the first five experimental conditions were completed. The results showed that four of the roosters had suboptimal choice behaviour in the first five experimental conditions; however, only two of them maintained such suboptimal behaviour in the replication conditions. This result does not support the idea that the suboptimal choice behaviour with strong discriminative stimuli is a robust effect.

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  • Women and Careers: New Zealand Women's Engagement in Career and Family Planning

    Ussher, Sarah Rosemary (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study investigated the extent women engage in career planning, and whether making considerations to have children would influence their career plans. Relationships with other variables were examined with career and family planning, which included proactive personality, subjective career success, and commitment and salience of women’s careers and role as a parent. One hundred and seventy three women who did not have children participated in this study by completing an online survey. Significant relationships were found between career planning and proactive personality, subjective career success, career commitment and career salience importance of career in life and importance of work over career. Family planning was found to be positively related to parental role commitment and salience, and negatively to career commitment, proactive personality, and career salience. Career planning was found to have no relationship with family planning, parental role commitment and salience, and career salience importance of career over family. Proactive personality was positively related to subjective career success, career commitment, and career salience. Age and education were not found to be related to career planning, but were negatively related to family planning. These results suggest that women feel there is a need to choose between a career and a family. My research found that women with high parental role commitment and salience were more likely to change their career plans to accommodate having children. Whereas, women with high career commitment and salience, were less likely to change their career plans to accommodate children. My research overall found that women do engage in career planning, and whether a woman’s career plans were altered due to considering children, was dependent on the woman’s preference for a family over a career, or a career over a family, which indicated whether a woman preferred to plan a career around a family or a family around a career. The findings within this thesis add knowledge to the field of women and careers, as well as suggests practitioners to discuss with female clients and employees that women do not need to choose between a career and a family, and that considering family responsibilities in career plans is a way to make balancing a career and a family, in theory, more manageable. This research offers practical recommendations for career counsellors and organisations to help effectively support female clients and employees manage their career and career aspirations, while also taking into account women’s concerns about managing their career responsibilities along with their maternal responsibilities. Implications for future career management programs to consider are suggested to encourage and support female employees and clients for the effective planning of their career, and taking into account a contingency plan for the possibility of parenthood in their future. Furthermore, examining women’s lifestyle preferences, could possibly disclose indicators of women who may have an increased likelihood of limiting their career responsibilities, due to the concern of managing career and childcare responsibilities.

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  • Retaining the authentic self in the workplace: Authenticity and work engagement in the mass-service industries

    Sharp, Lisa Karen Peden (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This research explored the association between authenticity and work engagement within the customer service context of mass-service industries. Authenticity in customer service workers is usually considered detrimental to organisational aims for a consistent standard of good service. However, research which finds that acting the service-persona is associated with emotional exhaustion and cynicism in workers (Brotheridge & Lee, 2002), while authenticity is related to positive customer-outcomes (Bujisic, Wu, Mattila, & Bilgihan, 2014), suggests that authenticity may enhance the experience of service for workers, and their customers, to provide for sustained competitive advantage. In the present research, I sought to examine the relationship between the degree of authenticity that employees use in their interaction with customers, and their experience of work engagement. Mass-service refers to a sector of the service industry modelled on mass-production. Contrary to principles for work engagement, workers in customer service roles within mass-service, usually repeat a small range of tasks with very little variation or autonomy. One hundred and forty service employees in petrol stations, fast food outlets, supermarkets, and in general retail responded to a survey measuring the extent to which they felt authentic, used surface acting and deep acting, their state of self-efficacy, feelings of personal accomplishment, and work engagement. Results revealed a positive relationship between authenticity and work engagement. Surface acting emerged as a less authentic approach to service than deep acting, however, deep acting was not strongly related to authenticity. Personal accomplishment strongly moderated associations with work engagement. Overall, results suggest that an authentic approach to interaction with customers and a sense of personal accomplishment are important to work engagement in mass-service workers. Findings support the promotion of authenticity in the workplace, as well as providing opportunities for workers to obtain a sense of accomplishment. Practical implications for the integration of authenticity into the customer service context, such as greater job autonomy and training customer service employees in the beneficial use of personality within the service-role, are discussed.

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  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - A New Era of Realism?

    Elliott, Darren Jack (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy is a familiar blockbuster franchise, adapting a well-known piece of literature and designed to appeal to global audiences. This trilogy, however, is also experimental, as the premium release of each film utilised higher frame rate (HFR) technologies together with computer generated imaging (CGI) and 3D in ways that were intended to extent the apparatus of cinema itself. These technological processes are part of a long line of developments aimed at creating a more compelling cinematic experience (Michelle, Davis, Hight, and Hardy, 2015). 3D film is thought to be the culmination of technological advances in film as the format’s ‘implicit mission was to conquer the entire sensorial complex, to represent reality in its totality’ (Asselin and Gosselin, 2013, p.132). Thus, this thesis focuses on the reception of global audiences to the technological aspects of the second film of The Hobbit franchise, The Desolation of Smaug (2013), focusing on whether 3D HFR quantifiably alters viewers’ viewing experience in terms of improving perceptions of realism and immersion. The research draws from a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods, including an online survey of 650 respondents across multiple countries and 39 Skype and email follow-up interviews. The responses to and interpretations of a self-selected audience formed the basis of understanding whether these technological advancements have created a more perceptually realistic and immersive cinematic experience. The findings from this research indicate that these new technologies were a challenge to many of the expectations of Hobbit viewers. Despite general approval of the nature of these technologies and their possibilities for enhancing the aesthetic experience of cinema, key segments of the audience were clearly disenchanted with these innovations, especially in comparison with their experience of Jackson’s earlier Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) and other CGI-based and 3D cinema. Respondents outlined problems in the interplay between the different imaging techniques, which generated jarring visual artefacts. They critiqued scenes where the filmmakers failed to seamlessly meld the technologies effectively, and many reported being frustrated at interruptions to their efforts to immerse themselves in the film’s narrative. Furthermore, my findings suggest that ultimately, the 3D HFR technologies and the aesthetic presented were subsidiary issues to the narrative surrounding the Middle-earth world that emotionally resonates with the majority of respondents. This does not mean that these interviewees found 3D HFR technology to have clashed with the narrative, but that the film ultimately stood as a return to their Middle-earth world. These 3 responses are consistent with those noted by Michelle et al. (2015), who found that existing fan communities of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings trilogy had complex reactions to the use of 3D HFR technologies and their impact on The Hobbit films. These findings suggest a mixed future for similar efforts to advance cinematic aesthetics through new technologies.

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