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  • Spatial and temporal genetic structure of the New Zealand scallop Pecten novaezelandiae: A multidisciplinary perspective

    Nunes Soares Silva, Catarina (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Knowledge about the population genetic structure of species and the factors shaping such patterns is crucial for effective management and conservation. The complexity of New Zealand’s marine environment presents a challenge for management and the classification of its marine biogeographic areas. As such, it is an interesting system to investigate marine connectivity dynamics and the evolutionary processes shaping the population structure of marine species. An accurate description of spatial and temporal patterns of dispersal and population structure requires the use of tools capable of incorporating the variability of the mechanisms involved. However, these techniques are yet to be broadly applied to New Zealand marine organisms. This study used genetic markers to assess the genetic variation of the endemic New Zealand scallop, Pecten novaezelandiae, at different spatial and temporal scales. A multidisciplinary approach was used integrating genetic with environmental data (seascape genetics) and hydrodynamic modelling tools. P. novaezelandiae supports important commercial, recreational and customary fisheries but there is no previous information about its genetic structure. Therefore, twelve microsatellite markers were developed for this study (Chapter 2). Samples (n=952) were collected from 15 locations to determine the genetic structure across the distribution range of P. novaezelandiae. The low genetic structure detected in this study is expected given the recent evolutionary history, the large reproductive potential and the pelagic larval duration of the species (approximately 3 weeks). A significant isolation by distance signal and a degree of differentiation from north to south was apparent, but this structure conflicted with some evidence of panmixia. A latitudinal genetic diversity gradient was observed that might reflect the colonisation and extinction events and insufficient time to reach migration-drift equilibrium during a recent range expansion (Chapter 3). A seascape genetic approach was used to test for associations between patterns of genetic variation in P. novaezelandiae and environmental variables (three geospatial and six environmental variables). Although the geographic distance between populations was an important variable explaining the genetic variation among populations, it appears that levels of genetic differentiation are not a simple function of distance. Evidence suggests that some environmental factors such as freshwater discharge and suspended particulate matter can be contributing to the patterns of genetic differentiation of P. novaezelandiae in New Zealand (Chapter 4). Dispersal of P. novaezelandiae was investigated at a small spatial and temporal scale in the Coromandel fishery using genetic markers integrated with hydrodynamic modelling. For the spatial analysis, samples (n=402) were collected in 2012 from 5 locations and for the temporal analysis samples (n=383) were collected in 2012 and 2014 from 3 locations. Results showed small but significant spatial and temporal genetic differentiation, suggesting that the Coromandel fishery does not form a single panmictic unit with free gene flow and supporting a model of source-sink population dynamics (Chapter 5). The importance of using multidisciplinary approaches at different spatial and temporal scales is widely recognized as a means to better understand the complex processes affecting marine connectivity. The outcomes of this study highlight the importance of incorporating these different approaches, provide vital information to assist in effective management and conservation of P. novaezelandiae and contribute to our understanding of evolutionary processes shaping population structure of marine species.

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  • Architecture as a Catalyst for Activity

    Tungatt, Rory (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Many of New Zealand’s smaller town centres struggle to remain viable. A common issue for these declining public realms is the hollowing out of their city centres. Numerous factors may contribute to this problem. Issues such as a lack of access, connectivity and identity within the urban fabric, or instances of privatisation, where forums that were once public have now shifted to a digital interface. One of the challenges facing cities is the diminishing number of “civic” buildings and activity located in the town centre. The Indoor Community Sports Centre (ICSC) offers a partial remedy for this problem. Even with the merging and downsizing of Council’s and their funding, Territorial Authorities continue to invest in ICSCs. This thesis investigates whether these buildings can make a positive contribution to the public domain of town centres. New Zealand ICSC’s, more often than not, are simple shed-like buildings on the periphery of cities or town centres, predominantly occupying or adjacent to large park areas, sports fields or schools. This thesis examines whether the building type can be adapted to become an “urban” building, where it will have the opportunity contribute to a revitalised town centre. A design case study based on Upper Hutt identifies three key design criteria established from initial research of Sports Centres and best-practice Urban Design. These three criteria – breaking up mass, active edges from the outside and creating a dynamic connection – allow the ICSC to become part of the civic realm. The research concludes that an ICSC can be successfully integrated into an “urban” context. In the Upper Hutt case study, success depends on two broader design strategies. First, the ICSC should be located in an area where walkability, functionality and visual and physical connectivity will benefit the public domain. Second, the ICSC should be part of a mixed-use development, which exploits the building type’s inherent flexibility. This is achieved through combining a transport hub, another essential civic amenity, as well as other commercial programmes that provide occupancy during periods of disuse. The thesis shows how a carefully adapted ICSC can turn a somewhat disconnected, hollowed out town into a functional, integrated and walkable one. The redesigned facility does so by linking existing amenities, feeding city-fringe activity back into the city centre and projecting a consciousness of place.

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  • Retrofitting Memory: Retrofitting a Non-Physical Architecture

    Low, Soon Yie (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This project looks at how destroyed architecture, although physically lost, fundamentally continues to exist within human memories as a non-physical entity. The site chosen is Avonside Girls’ High School in Christchurch, New Zealand, a school heavily damaged during the February 22nd earthquake in 2011. The project focuses on the Main Block, a 1930s masonry building which had always been a symbol for the school and its alumni. The key theories relevant to this are studies on non-material architecture and memory as these subjects investigate the relationship between conceptual idea and the triggering of it. This research aims to study how to fortify a thought-based architecture against neglect, similar to the retrofitting of physical structures. In doing so, the importance of the emotive realm of architecture and the idea behind a building (as opposed to the built component itself) is further validated, promoting more broadminded stances regarding the significance of the idea over the object. A new method for disaster recovery and addressing trauma from lost architecture is also acquired. Factors regarding advanced structural systems and programmes are not covered within the scope of this research because the project instead explores issues regarding the boundaries between the immaterial and material. The project methodology involves communicating a narrative derived from the memories alumni and staff members have of the old school block. The approach for portraying the narrative is based on a list of strategies obtained from case studies. The final product of the research is a new design for the high school, conveyed through a set of atmospheric drawings that cross-examines the boundaries between the physical and non-physical realms by representing the version of the school that exists solely within memories.

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  • How does a music therapy student work to facilitate reminiscence and memory in dementia patients

    Sun, I-Chen (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This study was prompted in response to increased interest in, and demand for, music therapy provision in improving quality of care for dementia patients. It is an exploration of the strategies to facilitate memory and reminiscence in persons with dementia, and considers the need for those preparing for end of life to recall identities, connect with family and others, and express feelings. This research is a qualitative study involving secondary analysis of clinical data from my clinical practice and identifies the strategies, techniques and procedures that I applied in my clinical work to stimulate preserved memory ‘islands’. The findings show that familiarity is central in enabling a remembering process, and music can have unique ways of accessing memory in people with limited cognitive and social abilities. Eight core categories of music therapy strategies were found to be helpful in enabling memory and reminiscence. This study includes examples of both individual and group music therapy. The objective of this study was to examine my music therapy practice, and potentially provide some beneficial ideas and insights to other music therapists working on memory and reminiscence with dementia patients.

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  • Data for Surf's Sake - Illustrating a subculture through interactive data visualisation and action sports trackers

    Everitt, Matthew (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Over the last two years action sports trackers have emerged for those seeking thrills in risk-taking sports (Mitchell, 2014). The data generated by these trackers is creating digitised representations of communities participating in action sports such as surfing. The surfing database comprises of activity all over the globe, and due to its size and complexity it can be categorised as big data. Understanding this complex database requires specific data visualisation methods which visually map relationships and patterns. This research asked: can an interactive data visualisation illustrate hierarchical, nomadic, and experiential aspects of the surfing subculture? This thesis is based on ethnographic research which focuses on exploring qualitative visualisations of the quantitative databases generated by action sports trackers for surfing. The research focused on the design of data visualisations which explored contemporary methods and principles of data visualisation and their applicability to communicate aspects of the surfing subculture. This manifested in the design of an interactive web application, Gone Surfing, which focused on global, local, and personal views which communicate Stranger’s (2011) substructure model of the surfing subculture. The hierarchical, nomadic, and experiential aspects of the surfing subculture are only known from long term immersion in the subculture itself. This design made these aspects explicit through the visualisation of the database. For example, pilgrimage’s to revered surfing locations and hierarchy within local communities, and a surfer’s relationship with the waves are forms of implicit knowledge which were made explicit. The final creative output, Gone Surfing, visualises these aspects in an interactive web application consisting of global, local, and personal views to each communicate an aspect effectively. The interactive visualisation allows non-surfers to explore the subculture while enhancing a surfer’s understanding of their position within the surfing nation.

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  • Improving Clustering Methods By Exploiting Richness Of Text Data

    Wahid, Abdul (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Clustering is an unsupervised machine learning technique, which involves discovering different clusters (groups) of similar objects in unlabeled data and is generally considered to be a NP hard problem. Clustering methods are widely used in a verity of disciplines for analyzing different types of data, and a small improvement in clustering method can cause a ripple effect in advancing research of multiple fields. Clustering any type of data is challenging and there are many open research questions. The clustering problem is exacerbated in the case of text data because of the additional challenges such as issues in capturing semantics of a document, handling rich features of text data and dealing with the well known problem of the curse of dimensionality. In this thesis, we investigate the limitations of existing text clustering methods and address these limitations by providing five new text clustering methods--Query Sense Clustering (QSC), Dirichlet Weighted K-means (DWKM), Multi-View Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm (MMOEA), Multi-objective Document Clustering (MDC) and Multi-Objective Multi-View Ensemble Clustering (MOMVEC). These five new clustering methods showed that the use of rich features in text clustering methods could outperform the existing state-of-the-art text clustering methods. The first new text clustering method QSC exploits user queries (one of the rich features in text data) to generate better quality clusters and cluster labels. The second text clustering method DWKM uses probability based weighting scheme to formulate a semantically weighted distance measure to improve the clustering results. The third text clustering method MMOEA is based on a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm. MMOEA exploits rich features to generate a diverse set of candidate clustering solutions, and forms a better clustering solution using a cluster-oriented approach. The fourth and the fifth text clustering method MDC and MOMVEC address the limitations of MMOEA. MDC and MOMVEC differ in terms of the implementation of their multi-objective evolutionary approaches. All five methods are compared with existing state-of-the-art methods. The results of the comparisons show that the newly developed text clustering methods out-perform existing methods by achieving up to 16\% improvement for some comparisons. In general, almost all newly developed clustering algorithms showed statistically significant improvements over other existing methods. The key ideas of the thesis highlight that exploiting user queries improves Search Result Clustering(SRC); utilizing rich features in weighting schemes and distance measures improves soft subspace clustering; utilizing multiple views and a multi-objective cluster oriented method improves clustering ensemble methods; and better evolutionary operators and objective functions improve multi-objective evolutionary clustering ensemble methods. The new text clustering methods introduced in this thesis can be widely applied in various domains that involve analysis of text data. The contributions of this thesis which include five new text clustering methods, will not only help researchers in the data mining field but also to help a wide range of researchers in other fields.

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  • Communicating a Culture of Peace in Aotearoa New Zealand: The vision of Peace through Unity

    Paterson, Meredith (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Narrative politics reframes how we cultivate knowledge in the academy, foregrounding the voices of research subjects and their relationships with researchers to re-embed scholars in the social world. Narrative affects the reader’s emotional capacities and fosters empathic understanding, encouraging a more human engagement with figures that have been made threatening, as Elizabeth Dauphinée explores in The Politics of Exile and Richard Jackson in Confessions of a Terrorist. Narrative politics is concerned with the question of how academics respond to the violence of war and whether the analytical tools of the social sciences are an adequate response to the human horror of war. The narratives of peace people are particularly compelling in the way they challenge the assertions of the dominant culture of wider society and the discipline of IR. Aotearoa New Zealand has a rich history of grassroots peace movements and activities that have influenced wider society. However, their stories are not well recorded in the dominant narrative of state institutions or academia. Peace Activist Elsie Locke published Peace People, a broad historical survey of peace activism from pre-European Maori to 1975. Maire Leadbeater brings the account up to 2013 in Peace, Power and Politics. All accounts emphasise that ordinary people were at the heart of activities, organisations and movements for peace. One of these ‘ordinary’ people left out of Locke and Leadbeater’s accounts is Gita Brooke, co-founder of the Whanganui-based charitable trust, Peace through Unity [PTU]. As a self-identified ‘peace person,’ Brooke has written much about their work and been involved in peace activities in Aotearoa NZ since the 1980s. Narrative politics provides a lens in IR to explore the story of Gita Brooke as co-founder of PTU. I show the contribution PTU has made and continues to make to a culture of peace in Aotearoa New Zealand and as a worldwide network, explored through the themes of education for global citizenship, transformation through thought-work, and responsibility for local action. It examines how PTU’s vision of a culture of peace has been communicated through the organisation’s newsletter, Many to Many, through its involvement with the United Nations as an accredited NGO, and through its local activities. Using archival sources, data from interviews and a content analysis of the newsletter, and complemented by the lens of and insights from the discourse of narrative politics, this study suggests that PTU provides a space for critical self-reflection in the pursuit of peace that challenges the thought/action binary of institutionalised NGOs. The deterritorialised publication, Many to Many, connects peace people through a networked area of mutual agreement that is inclusive, educative and transformative.

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  • Evaluating methane outputs from an area of submarine seeps along the northern Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    Higgs, Benjamin (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Collated global marine surveys have documented large volumes of gaseous methane able to escape from deeply-buried deposits into global oceans as seeps. Seeps are evident where permeable faults and fracture networks allow for the upward transportation of methane from buried deposits into the water column as plumes of rising bubbles. Seep bubbles dissolve the majority of their constitutive methane into the surrounding water column as they rise; however there is evidence of more-prominent seeps transferring undissolved methane through the water column and into the atmosphere. Due to the biologic origins of methane, the global distribution of buried methane de-posits is highly varied and difficult to predict. High uncertainties in seep locations have resulted in all previous estimations of the global proportion of atmospheric methane attributed to seeps to have very large associated errors. These are mainly due to large extrapolations over global oceans based on findings from surveyed seep fields. A 2014 NIWA research voyage saw the discovery of an abundant seep field situated at uncharacteristically shallow water depths (150–300 m below sea level) along the raised continental shelf of the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. In comparison to other globally documented seep fields, the Hikurangi Margin seeps are numerous (estimated between 585 and 660 surveyed seeps) and cover a large area (∼ 840 km²). Prior to the discovery of this seep field, there was only evidence of 36 seeps along the entire Hikurangi Margin. Acoustically surveyed bubble-rise paths of newly discovered seeps also show evidence of seeps extending the entire height of the water column. The large number of shallow flares present in the abundant seep field represent the potential for considerable amounts of gaseous methane outputs. To further investigate these seeps, NIWA voyages TAN1505 and TAN1508 that took place in June and July of 2015 employed a range of scientific equipment to analyse features of the rising seep bubbles. Part of these investigations involved the video recordings of rising seep bubbles from the seafloor as well as acoustically surveying rising bubbles using a singlebeam and multibeam echsounder. We have used video and acoustic data sets to create multiple tools and computational techniques for better assessing features of seeps. We have developed photogrammetric tools that can be used in Matlab to compute bubble-size distributions and bubble-rise rates from still frames of underwater video footage. These bubble parameters have then been combined with singlebeam recorded flare profiles to calculate the flux of emitted methane at the seafloor. These calculations were carried out using the FlareFlow Matlab module, devised by Mario Veloso. To assess the number of seeps in a multibeam surveyed region, we have created vertically-summed intensity maps of the obtained water column data. Summed-intensity maps display localised high-amplitude features, indicative of seeps. Seep indicators have been used to (1) map the distribution of seeps of the surveyed Hikurangi Margin, (2) assess the total surveyed seep count, and (3) identify regions where seep concentrations are particularly high. We have combined methane fluxes from analysed seeps with regional seep-distribution maps to approximate the rate at which gaseous methane is escaping from the seafloor across the seep field. Extrapolating seep emissions over the surveyed area approximates 0.99×10⁵ ±0.64×10⁵ m³/yr of undissolved methane is being released across the seep field. Using models of methane preservation, combined with staggered depth models of flares, we have approximated that ∼ 0.2% of the methane emitted at the seafloor is able to reach the atmosphere.

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  • Leaving a Trail - Revealing heritage in a rural landscape

    Rodgers, Maria (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    ‘Leaving a Trail – revealing heritage in a rural landscape’ investigates how landscape architecture can reveal heritage and connect Māori and Pākehā to the land and to the past in rural Aotearoa New Zealand. Our rural landscapes contain rich and varied stories, which, if interpreted and made stronger by being linked together, have the potential to create cultural and recreational assets as well as tourist drawcards. A starting point for this research based in South Wairarapa was the six sites identified by the Wairarapa Moana Management Team as sites for development. The first design ‘hunch’ remained the touchstone of the project. With the six Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park sites forming an ‘inner necklace’ the aim of this project became creating an ‘outer necklace’ of revealed heritage sites, a heritage trail. This thesis was inspired by the depth of Māori connection to the land. Māori consider the natural world is able to ‘speak’ to humans. The method chosen for this design research is based on landscape architect Christophe Girot’s ‘Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture’. Girot is interested in methods and techniques that expand landscape projects beyond the amelioration of sites towards the reactivation of the cultural dimensions of sites. As part of this research is to enable connection with the cultural dimensions of sites, or to ‘hear the site speak’, his method was chosen as a starting point. It was adapted and shaped by previous experience and the experience of this research to form a new method, ‘Four Listening Acts in Landscape Architecture’. Through such methods landscape architects can grow their relationship with the land and so better design with the land and for the landscape and its people. After research, the sites were chosen and grouped into four major routes, Māori, Pākehā settlement, natural system and military, so as to appeal to people with a variety of interests. Of the twenty six trail sites most are already marked and eleven are unmarked. Research into how to reveal these unmarked sites saw three different approaches used. Sites with spaces had their essence intensified to become places. Other sites had objects designed for them directly related to the landscape. The significance of the rest is shown with numbered markers. These three different methods of revealing a site’s significance are threaded together into a series, a necklace, creating a trail that contributes a cultural, recreational and tourist resource to South Wairarapa.

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  • Costing the cold: Connecting fuel poverty & supplier switching in Wellington, New Zealand

    McLean, Sam (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Fuel poverty describes the inability of households to afford adequate energy services, such as space heating. In New Zealand, where 25% of households are estimated to be ‘fuel poor’, high electricity prices in a restructured electricity market have an important influence on fuel poverty. However, the ability of the New Zealand Government to regulate these high electricity prices is constrained. Consequently, there is a strong reliance on consumers to switch energy suppliers, which promotes competitive prices and in turn regulates the price of electricity. In contrast to energy efficiency improvements, switching offers fuel poor households a low-cost opportunity to improve the short-term affordability of energy services. Yet, switching is suggested to not benefit fuel poor households who are in most need of affordable energy. This thesis explored the relationship between fuel poverty and supplier switching in Wellington, New Zealand through a geographic lens. First, a new approach to identifying fuel poverty in New Zealand was applied. Using geographic information systems (GIS), a fuel poverty index was calculated to identify fuel poverty in Wellington at meshblock level. Spatial analysis of the index revealed the complexity of identifying fuel poverty and the extent to which the spatial distribution of fuel poverty in Wellington is shaped by the city’s colonial history. The index was then used to identify survey participants through which a survey was conducted exploring Wellington households’ switching behaviours. In a competitive market, consumers are expected to switch according to economically rational behaviours. However, switching behaviours in the survey sample were influenced by factors other than these economically rational behaviours. Integrating the findings of this thesis supports suggestions that switching is not benefiting the fuel poor. Finally, this thesis sheds light on the extent to which an understanding of the geography of fuel poverty can be applied towards improving the effectiveness of policy and equitable outcomes for fuel poor households.

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  • Path to Accessibility: The current state of disability access in Aotearoa New Zealand museums

    King-Wall, Riah (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The New Museology posits museums and galleries as institutions entwined with issues of social justice and political responsibility. The relationship between museums and their communities is the founding aspect of this theoretical and practical framework. ‘Path to Accessibility’ explores the ways museums and galleries around Aotearoa New Zealand are engaging with communities of people with disabilities, consulting both with representatives from the disability sector and cultural organisations from around the country. This dissertation addresses a current gap in the literature available on how New Zealand museums are adapting to the needs of these audiences; a shift that is necessary given one in four New Zealanders identifies as having lived experience of disability. It also forges a valuable contribution to the field of museum studies by drawing on theory such as audience development and visitor research, and utilising emancipatory research frameworks from disability studies, as well as conducting original research on an under-examined topic. The research comprised a multi-method approach to ensure credibility. Focus group and interview stages collected the experiences and viewpoints of existing museum visitors with disabilities. This provided a foundation on which to create a nationwide survey of 41 museums and galleries. The survey explored multiple aspects of disability access, including physical ingress, inclusive exhibition design, tailored public programming, digital accessibility, and levels of disability representation in staff and management positions. The findings of this research project reveal that museums and galleries in Aotearoa New Zealand are for the most part considering disability access in some way. However, actioning related initiatives is often limited to achieving minimum legislative requirements rather than approaching it comprehensively as part of wider audience development strategies. The analysis of data gathered puts forward a number of suggestions around improving practice in New Zealand museums, central to which is establishing relationships with communities of people with disabilities and their advocacy groups to ensure long-term sustainability. These recommendations have global applicability for museum practice as comparative overseas studies demonstrate strong similarities to the New Zealand context.

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  • Ecology, Taxonomic Status, and Conservation of the South Georgian Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides georgicus) in New Zealand

    Fischer, Johannes (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Procellariiformes is a diverse order of seabirds under considerable pressure from onshore and offshore threats. New Zealand hosts a large and diverse community of Procellariiformes, but many species are at risk of extinction. In this thesis, I aim to provide an overview of threats and conservation actions of New Zealand’s Procellariiformes in general, and an assessment of the remaining terrestrial threats to the South Georgian Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides georgicus; SGDP), a Nationally Critical Procellariiform species restricted to Codfish Island (Whenua Hou), post invasive species eradication efforts in particular. I reviewed 145 references and assessed 14 current threats and 13 conservation actions of New Zealand’s Procellariiformes (n = 48) in a meta-analysis. I then assessed the terrestrial threats to the SGDP by analysing the influence of five physical, three competition, and three plant variables on nest-site selection using an information theoretic approach. Furthermore, I assessed the impacts of interspecific interactions at 20 SGDP burrows using remote cameras. Finally, to address species limits within the SGDP complex, I measured phenotypic differences (10 biometric and eight plumage characters) in 80 live birds and 53 study skins, as conservation prioritisation relies on accurate taxonomic classification. The results from the meta-analysis revealed that New Zealand’s Procellariiformes are at risk from various threats (x̅= 5.50 ± 0.34), but species also receive aid from several conservation actions (x̅= 7.19 ± 0.33). Results from a logistic regression showed that smaller species are more threatened onshore than offshore. The majority of the conservation actions appear in place where needed. However, habitat management, native predator control and the mitigation of risks associated with environmental stochasticity may need improvement. Analysis of SGDP nest-site selection showed dependency on mobile, steep, seaward-facing foredunes. Invasive plant species, the presence of conspecifics, or the presence of other seabird species did not influence SGDP nest-site selection. Assessment of interspecific interactions at SGDP burrows showed seven species occurring at burrows, but only Common Diving Petrels (P. urinatrix; CDP) interfered with SGDP breeding success. Assessment of phenotypic differences within the SGDP revealed that the New Zealand SGDP population differs in five biometric and three plumage characters from all other populations and warrants species status based on a species delimitation test with quantitative criteria. I propose to name this Critically Endangered species Pelecanoides taylorii sp. nov. These findings indicate that P. taylorii is of considerable conservation concern and additional measures, even after successful eradication of invasive species, may be required to safeguard this species. Based on the habitat preference, stochastic events, such as storms and storm surges, appear a major threat to P. taylorii. The assessed interspecific interactions at nest-sites, indicate competition with CDPs to be a minor threat. I propose a translocation as a potential strategy to relieve the pressure on P. taylorii, but further monitoring and research is needed to enable the implementation of such a conservation strategy.

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  • See you on Wall St. Sept 17. Bring Tent: Occupy Wall Street, Framing, and Mobilisation

    Bigwood, Sam (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The phenomenon of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has been widely discussed in the academic and popular discourse. Of its many contributions, the language of the Occupy Movement has had a profound influence on contemporary discussions about inequality – contrasting the ‘99%’ with the ‘1%’ is now a permanent part of the conversation. However, despite this discursive shift, the literature has yet to seriously consider how the ideational elements of OWS influenced its mobilisation. While changing the dominant discourse is an important achievement, mobilising collective action around a cause remains an essential task for social movements. To explain social movement mobilisation, this thesis utilises the framing perspective, which seeks to understand why and how certain ideas are able to inspire or inhibit collective action. By using qualitative analysis of movement texts over time, this thesis has constructed the key frames articulated in selected OWS documents over the course of its serious efforts to mobilise. More specifically, it has examined whether changes in the movement’s use of diagnostic, prognostic, motivational, and identity frames can explain the trajectory of mobilisation. The central argument is that the framing perspective can offer a plausible explanation for the mobilisation of OWS; a correlation between changes in framing and expected changes in mobilisation can be observed. However, while the findings of this thesis fill one important part of the puzzle, in order to corroborate the arguments put forward here future research must consider the way the frames proffered by OWS were actually received and acted (or not acted) upon by potential participants. By doing so, we can not only gain a more perceptive insight into this topical phenomenon, but also improve our understanding of the nature and dynamics of contemporary social movements.

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  • Identifying Human Host Cell Protein Targets of the Bartonella Effector Protein (Bep) Fic Domains

    Trounson, Vaughan (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The genus Bartonellae represents an increasing number of emerging bacterial pathogens that utilises an unusual infection strategy, parasitising the red blood cells of their mammalian host. The most common species to infect humans are B. henselae and B. quintana. B. henselae is transmitted between cats by the cat flea, although occasionally infects humans via cat scratches or bites, causing cat-scratch disease (CSD). CSD is characterised by enlarged tender lymph nodes and fever. B. henselae also infects the endothelial cells of both its hosts; likely a factor in disease progression. B. quintana, the cause of trench fever during WWI, is spread people by the body louse. Trench fever is characterised by relapsing fever, headache, and bone pain. B. quintana is also able to infect human endothelial cells. These bacteria secrete a range of Bartonella effector proteins (Beps) via a Type IV secretion system, directly into endothelial cells, subverting host cell processes and resulting in internalisation of the bacteria. Beps have a range of functions, many of which are not fully characterised. B. henselae secretes three Beps (BepA-C) that contain a filamentation induced by cAMP (Fic) domain and a Bartonella Intracellular Delivery (BID) domain, with BepA being the best studied. BepA’s BID domain is responsible for intracellular delivery as well as inhibition of apoptosis by the host cell, however the exact function of the Fic domain remains unknown. Fic-containing bacterial toxins catalyse the transfer of an AMP moiety from ATP onto a host cell protein. This AMPylation frequently inactivates these proteins resulting in disrupted host cell processes and cytotoxicity. BepA has previously been shown to possess AMPylation activity, although the host target protein(s) are unknown. Evidence suggests that these proteins are novel targets. The aim of this study was to create protein constructs containing these Fic domains, and to develop techniques to identify the host cell target proteins post AMPylation. To this end, both a fluorescent ATP analogue and a fluorescent click chemistry based approach were utilised. While no target protein was identified, a basic methodology was developed for protein production and target protein identification that could be further developed.

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  • Intertextuality in Kenyan Policy Discourse on the Rights of Women

    Aberi, George (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The investigative aim of this thesis is to explore the recontextualization of the normative discourse of gender equality in Kenya’s policy discourse of women’s rights. Its purpose is threefold: Firstly, it attempts to examine the different ways in which policy makers use language in the course of interpreting and implementing gender equality policies. This includes a focus on both the linguistic and rhetorical/discursive strategies that these policy makers employ for such functions as endorsing, negotiating, legitimating, or even contesting given policy proposals. Secondly, the thesis endeavours to bring to light the different and changing conceptions of gender (in)equality espoused by the various policy actors involved in Kenya’s policy discourse of women’s rights over a critical ten-year period between 1995 and 2005. These policy actors include the Kenyan government; women’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who actively seek to influence government policy; and the United Nations’ organizations with responsibility for ensuring the implementation of women’s human rights. Thirdly, the thesis attempts to show the extent to which policy initiatives proposed by the human rights-based women’s NGOs in Kenya are taken up in the texts produced by the Kenyan government. In order to gain a better understanding of the discursive interactions between and amongst the policy actors in this study, an intertextual approach to Norman Fairclough’s model of critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used. The thesis drew discourse samples for analysis from the Kenyan government’s periodic reports detailing progress towards fully meeting the terms of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); the documents produced by the Committee overseeing the Convention that provided assessment of the Kenyan government’s reports; the Kenyan government’s official texts on gender policy; and Kenyan women NGOs’ annual reports and other texts. Though many scholars and researchers of women’s rights praise the UN Committee’s imperatives for bringing about policy changes concerning women’s rights globally, the findings from this study confirm that the Committee for CEDAW has only textual power, and that it lacks enforcement powers to ensure the implementation of the universal rights of women within the local milieu. In a similar vein, this study demonstrates that though the women’s NGOs play a significant role both in terms of identifying important areas of concern for policy intervention, and in necessitating changes in the genres of the national government, their participation has largely failed to ensure the Kenyan government’s epistemological shift from its current state of recognizing the existence of women’s rights, to the phase of implementing them. This thesis also establishes that differing conceptions of gender (in)equality and ideological differences between the Committee for CEDAW and the Kenyan government tend to influence both the Committee’s and the Kenyan government’s use of varied discourses, genres, and styles, with the intent of manipulating to outmanoeuvre one another. This means that both the Kenyan government and the Committee live in different worlds, suggesting a continuing gap between the Committee’s normative knowledge of women’s rights to gender equality, and the Kenyan government’s cultural relativist perspectives concerning such rights. As a solution to these power struggles and political differences that derail policy making on gender equality, this study recommends the need both for the Committee and the Kenyan government to employ a reflexive and pragmatic mix of both the universalist and cultural relativist approaches to gender equality. This will bring forth shared areas of interest concerning women’s rights between the UN and the Kenyan government, based on their applicability within the local context. Moreover, such an approach will create a possibility for the Committee to understand the Kenyan government’s cultural relativist/competing discourse of women’s rights as another way of conceiving gender equality (i.e. productive power-knowledges), rather than viewing them as irrelevant cultural claims that stand in stark opposition to the universal understandings of women’s rights to gender equality. Likewise, the aforesaid reflexive and pragmatic mix of approaches will help the Kenyan policy makers to develop a more critical and nuanced view of the universal approaches to gender equality, thereby reducing their varied forms of resistance to gender equality via subtle evasive strategies. Methodologically, this thesis shows how a comparative intertextual approach to Fairclough’s model of critical discourse analysis can be used as a framework for establishing the relations between policy text and context. This framework includes the micro-level of textual/linguistic analysis, the meso level of discursive interactions, and the macro level of socio-cultural practice at the local, institutional, and societal levels. Theoretically, the thesis demonstrates the different ways in which particular philosophical arguments and emancipatory concepts from Foucault’s theory of governmentality and transnational feminist rhetorical theory can be combined and exploited by linguists to promote different ways of theorizing and thinking concerning the development of policies for promoting gender equality.

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  • Putting wellbeing back into welfare: Exploring social development from beneficiaries' perspectives

    Sudden, Alicia (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    New Zealand implemented the first definitive welfare state in 1938, institutionalising the responsibility held by the state to protect citizens and uphold their wellbeing. Since then, the swift and pervasive implementation of neoliberal reforms in New Zealand have transformed the social development landscape, and the wider economic setting. New Zealand is now in the midst of unprecedented levels of inequality and child poverty. Yet in the face of increasing hardship, the welfare system has become increasingly residual and punitive towards those in need. The most recent overhaul of the welfare system occurred in July 2013. These reforms came with a marked push toward reducing benefit recipient numbers, evidenced in the use of off-the-benefit figures as a measure of a successful system. However, this narrative obscures the experiences and wellbeing of people behind these figures, which is particularly problematic given the increased employment instability and financial insecurity fostered by the current labour market. This thesis aims to explore the experiences of those who have come off the benefit since July 2013, either temporarily or permanently, in order to understand how the current welfare system is impacting those it is intended to support. In order to best capture the voices of former and current beneficiaries, this thesis utilised a mixed methods approach. A survey was conducted to identify patterns and trends from the voices of over 200 participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to enrich the quantified results, and understand the narratives and experiences of individuals in more depth. By drawing on a post-development framework, this thesis works toward creating a space for an alternative discussion around welfare that goes beyond the hegemony of economic-centric dialogues. The findings suggest that the welfare system is failing to adequately support those facing hardship or facilitate positive off-the-benefit transitions. Instead, it is fostering the neoliberal assault on citizenship and social rights, and deepening the growing inequalities within New Zealand society.

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

    Rimoni, Fuapepe (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

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

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  • Roster-Based Optimisation for Limited Overs Cricket

    Patel, Ankit (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

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

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

    McIvor, Joshua (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

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

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

    Bone, Oliver (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

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

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