6,445 results for Scholarly text

  • Ecology of New Zealand Deep-sea Chondrichthyans

    Finucci, Brit (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Deep-sea chondrichthyans represent nearly half of the known species of sharks, rays, and chimaeras. Most are poorly known, largely due to their historically low economic value, and thus, low prioritization for research efforts and targeted sampling. Globally, many deep-sea fisheries have proven to be unsustainable, as deep-sea species are generally characterised with life history traits, resulting in low biological productivity. Although generally not targeted, there is a lack of data on New Zealand deep-sea chondrichthyans, despite regularly occurring as bycatch, with no mitigation in place to limit catches. This thesis described aspects of life histories for data deficient deep-sea chondrichthyans caught as bycatch in New Zealand deep-sea fisheries. In Chapter II, research trawl survey data were used to describe and evaluate length-weight relationships, which were found to greatly differ from parameters reported by FishBase. This was followed by the application of a set of models to detect changes in weight at length relationships, and assess if these changes correspond to biological or ecological events, such as length-at-maturity or ontogenetic changes in diet. Chapter III evaluates deep-sea chondrichthyan aggregations and social associations. Not all species were found to engage in aggregative behaviour, but those that did suggested patterns of sex- and size-specific associations which varied with catch density. Adult females were caught most frequently in low densities and were highly associated with other adult females, adult males consistently highly associated with each other, and the highest density catches were dominated by juvenile individuals. These trends may be driven by factors such as foraging, predator avoidance or sexual conflict avoidance. Chapters IV, V, and VI examine, respectively, details of the reproduction, life history, and diet of prickly dogfish (Oxynotus bruniensis), longnose spookfish (Harriotta raleighana) and Pacific spookfish (Rhinochimaera pacifica), and brown chimaera (Chimaera carophila) and black ghost shark (Hydrolagus homonycteris). All species were found to have life histories characteristic of low productivity, including reaching maturation at a large proportion of their maximum length, and having low fecundity. Additional novel biological results included: DNA identification of prey revealed that O. bruniensis preyed exclusively on the egg capsules of holocephalans, potentially making it the only known elasmobranch with a diet reliant solely upon other chondrichthyans; sperm storage was confirmed in female H. raleighana, R. pacifica, and C. carophila; and sexual dimorphism in snout length was found in H. raleighana, where male relative snout size increased at sexual maturity, suggesting that the snout is a secondary sexual characteristic. The depth range of most New Zealand deep-sea chondrichthyans may provide some refuge from current fishing activity. However, results from this thesis have suggested that the species examined here have life histories characteristic of low productivity, and engage in behaviours that will have implications for selective mortality by spatially or temporally stratified fishing. Oxynotus bruniensis, in particular, is likely at higher risk from the impact of fishing than currently estimated, given its reproductive characteristics, highly specialised diet, and distribution overlap with deep-sea fisheries. Continued monitoring and a greater collection of biological data from additional and alternative sources (e.g. fisheries observer program, local fishers, underwater vehicles and video) is recommended to fully understand and negate mortality from human activities.

    View record details
  • Pleistocene cyclostratigraphy on the continental rise and abyssal plain of the western Ross Sea, Antarctica.

    Al'bot, Olga (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis investigates glacimarine sedimentation processes operating on the continental margin of the western Ross Sea during the Pleistocene (˜2.5 Ma). This time period is characterised by a major global cooling step at ˜0.8 Ma, although several proposed episodes of major marine-based Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) retreat in warm interglacial periods are inferred to have occurred after this time. Constraining the timing and magnitude of past marine-based AIS retreat events in the Ross Sea through this time will improve our understanding of the forcing mechanisms and thresholds that drive marine-based ice sheet retreat. Identifying such mechanisms and thresholds is crucial for assisting predictive models of potential ice sheet collapse in a future world with rapidly rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO₂) concentrations. Six sedimentary cores forming a north-to-south transect from the continental rise to the abyssal plain of the western Ross Sea were examined in order to identify potential sedimentary signatures of past marine-based ice sheet variability and associated oceanographic change. A lithofacies scheme and stratigraphic framework were developed, which allowed the identification of shifting sedimentary processes through time. The sediments are interpreted to have been deposited primarily under the influence of bottom currents, most likely from changing rates of dense Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) formation over glacial-interglacial cycles. Two dominant lithofacies (laminated and bioturbated) are recognised in the Pleistocene contourite sequences. Laminated facies alongside reduced ice-rafted debris (IRD) fluxes and reduced biological productivity are interpreted to represent expanded ice sheet and sea ice margins during glacial conditions, which acted to restrict surface water ventilation resulting in less oxygenated bottom waters. Conversely, laminated facies alongside reduced IRD fluxes and increased productivity are inferred to represent a reduction of ice shelf and sea ice cover resulting in enhanced AABW formation and sediment delivery. In general, it is interpreted that bioturbated facies in combination with enhanced productivity are common during interglacial conditions, with peaks in IRD associated with ice sheet retreat events leading into interglacial conditions. However, the relationships between laminated and bioturbated facies vary between sites, and facies at most sites generally alternate on timescales exceeding that of individual glacial-interglacial cycles (2 mm in x-ray images, the sieved weight percentage of the medium-to-coarse sand fraction (250 µm-2 mm), and volumetric estimates of the > 125 µm sand fraction using a laser particle sizer. The x-ray and sieve methods produced comparable results, while the volumetric estimate, although showing comparable long-term trends, produces a lesser correlation to the other two methods. Spectral analysis of the IRD content and the magnetic susceptibility data series reveals that during the Early Pleistocene (2.5-1.2 Ma) ice discharge into the western Ross Sea was paced by the 41 kyr and 100 kyr cycles of obliquity and eccentricity, respectively. The Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT;1.2-0.8 Ma) was characterised by a switch to a higher-frequency, lower-amplitude IRD flux during a long-term period of high power in eccentricity, obliquity and precession (˜23 kyr) observed in the orbital solutions, suggesting a relatively linear response to orbital forcing at this time. The colder climate state of the Late Pleistocene (0.8-0.01 Ma) is characterised by IRD fluctuations modulated primarily by the 100 kyr eccentricity forcing that became dominant by 400 ka. In the western Ross Sea, IRD fluxes show a clear response to the orbital pacing of glacial-interglacial cycles, but are equivocal in identifying the magnitude of ice sheet loss or growth through glacial-interglacial cycles.

    View record details
  • Behavioural patterns of two native Leiopelma frogs and implications for their conservation

    Ramírez, Patty (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Amphibian populations are in general decline internationally. The current situation of amphibian populations highlights the urgent need for comprehensive information on species’ ecology to better assess conservation and management strategies. Movement behaviour and microhabitat selection give insights into how amphibians use the environment and interact with their surroundings, and are essential to establishing their sensitivity to the global decline phenomenon and identifying the critical habitat features essential for their success. New Zealand native frogs (Anura: Leiopelmatidae, Leiopelma, nine species) were formerly distributed throughout New Zealand, but habitat modification and predation by introduced mammalian predators have influenced recent (Holocene) extinctions and declines, reducing the fauna to four species with major range reductions. All extant Leiopelma are classified as threatened both nationally and internationally, creating an urgent need for species-specific behavioural research to support conservation management. I investigated activity, movement behaviour and microhabitat use of L. archeyi and L. pakeka for better evaluation of long term population viability and improved husbandry in captivity. L. archeyi is the smallest of the Leiopelma species and has been able to co-occur with introduced predators (e.g. rats), whereas L. pakeka is the largest, and the only natural population is confined to a predator-free island. I used a fine-scale tracking technique (i.e. non-toxic fluorescent powders) to track L. archeyi and L. pakeka movements throughout their activity periods when on the surface in their natural habitats, Whareorino Forest and Maud Island, respectively, to obtain detailed information on their activity patterns, movement behaviour, and microhabitat and retreat site use. I investigated in more detail L. pakeka retreat sites by measuring the dimensions of the retreat site entrances (width, height and diameter) as well as the activity inside those retreat sites. Lastly, I used long-term frog survey data to examine the indirect impacts (i.e. behavioural changes) ship rats (Rattus rattus) may have on L. archeyi by studying the microhabitat use and home range of this species in an area with and without rat control within Whareorino Forest. L. archeyi had a longer activity period than L. pakeka with the former being active up to two hours after sunrise, but L. pakeka moved more and further than L. archeyi during their activity periods. Additionally, L. archeyi had a smaller home range compared to L. pakeka which suggests more prominent site fidelity and more sedentary behaviour in this species. Both species actively sought out specific microhabitats among the ones that were available, either to use during movement or to use as retreat sites, but those microhabitat types also differed between species. L. archeyi were more often found above ground level than L. pakeka and tended to use microhabitats that provided cover. L. archeyi preferred to use trees as retreat sites (roots, branches or trunk) whereas L. pakeka used trees (roots) and rocks. L. pakeka retreat sites had lower and more stable temperatures than outside retreats. Frogs were active inside retreats with no evidence of sleep behaviour for at least the first few hours of retreat use. In the rat control area, L. archeyi used more soil, leaf litter and ferns, and were also more likely to be found at ground level than frogs in the presence of higher numbers of rats. Abiotic factors also influenced movement patterns and microhabitat selection of both species, affirming water balance and thermoregulation are important drivers in frog behaviour. Behavioural attributes and small body size could be aiding in the persistence of L. archeyi in the presence of rats, and large body size and differences in behavioural attributes are likely to put L. pakeka at risk if rats were to reach their habitat. My findings inform on the ecology and behaviour of two Leiopelma species providing valuable information on their habitat requirements, which will enable more effective captive husbandry and better assessment of the appropriateness of translocation sites, aiding in their conservation management.

    View record details
  • Toward the Synthesis of (–)-TAN-2483B Lactam Analogues

    Stirrat, Hedley (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Natural products continue to be an abundant source of lead compounds for drug discovery and development. (–)-TAN-2483A and (–)-TAN-2483B, isolated from the culture of a filamentous fungus, incorporate an unusual furo[3,4-b]pyran-5-one scaffold. TAN-2483A was initially reported to inhibit the c-Src tyrosine kinase enzyme, a potential anticancer target, and parathyroid hormone-induced bone resorption. TAN-2483B, on the other hand, was not isolated in sufficient quantities for biological testing. The synthesis of TAN-2483B is therefore desirable from a drug discovery perspective. Several analogues of TAN-2483B that are functionalised at the propenyl sidechain have previously been synthesised in the Harvey group and have shown promising biological activity. For example, the (Z)-ethyl ester analogue showed micromolar inhibition of HL-60 cells and Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, a protein involved in B-cell maturation that is implicated in certain cancers. The lactone moiety of TAN-2483B and its sidechain analogues, however, appears to be unstable to nucleophilic attack. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the viability of a synthetic route toward lactam analogues of TAN-2483B. It was proposed that substituting the lactone for a lactam would increase the stability of the compound in nucleophilic media. Moreover, the lactam nitrogen may provide a site for further functionalisation of the compound for future structure-activity relationship studies. Because installation of the (Z)-ethyl ester sidechain via Wittig conditions has previously been found to be more facile than installation of the (E)-propenyl sidechain found in the natural product, investigations into forming the lactam ring system were carried out on the ethyl ester advanced intermediates. Reductive amination of a ketone intermediate was envisaged to install the amine prior to a palladium-catalysed carbonylation/lactam formation step. The promising bioactivity of the (Z)-ethyl ester analogue was anticipated to be retained in the target lactam analogues. It was found that the substrates of the proposed reductive amination, the advanced ketone intermediates, were incompatible with the tested conditions, presumably due to base sensitivity. Three by-products from the reductive amination experiments were isolated and tentatively characterised by NMR spectroscopy and HRMS. An alternative route toward lactam analogues of TAN-2483B, via intermediate amines accessed by the substitution of an activated alcohol, was briefly investigated with encouraging results. Further optimisation of the synthetic route toward analogues of TAN-2483B was also achieved. Removal of a purification step enabled the more expedient two-step synthesis of a diol intermediate. The two-step transformation to (Z)- and (E)-ethyl ester intermediates, via sodium periodate-mediated diol cleavage and Wittig olefination, proceeded in the highest yield obtained to date. Investigations into the desilylation of a trimethylsilyl-protected acetylene were also conducted. Although lactam analogues of TAN-2483B were not obtained in this study, progress was made toward their synthesis. The alternative route toward amines that was briefly explored here appears promising, and work is ongoing in the Harvey group to access lactam (and other) analogues of TAN-2483B, in addition to the natural product itself.

    View record details
  • Trash or Treasure? Te Papa and the collecting on everyday material culture

    Hackett, Amy (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The everyday, ordinary, and mundane are categories of material culture that challenge traditional museum collecting. Collection planning is an absolute necessity for museums if they are to avoid becoming unmanageable time capsules. With cuts to resources and space now at a premium, it is important that museums clarify their purpose and begin to collect more strategically. This dissertation asks: if collecting everyday material culture is now an accepted part of curatorial practice today, then how does Te Papa approach this fraught task? How does the museum define the everyday, how much of it already exists in the museum’s collections, and what tools and strategies does it deploy to ensure that these objects are collected and appreciated as part of the nation’s history and heritage? Using a multi-method approach comprising document analysis, interviews and observation, this dissertation provides insight into how Te Papa collects everyday material culture. It provides an in-depth view of the national museum’s current collecting processes, all the way from how it collects on paper, to how it collects in reality. The research addresses gaps in literature on institutional collecting, particularly in a national museum setting. Building on work by James B Gardner and Simon Knell, and by observing and interviewing curators, this study is able to respond to calls for research that approaches collecting from an internal ‘on-the-ground’ viewpoint. Trash or Treasure? reveals that at Te Papa, although everyday material culture is being collected and displayed, it exists at a crossroads of traditional and contemporary conceptions of collecting. Policy enables collecting of these everyday objects provided acquisition proposals demonstrate national significance. However, curators are less concerned with this aspect of an object. This discrepancy occurs because of the challenging nature of everyday material culture, namely its mutability; it can be all things to many people. The findings suggest that policy does not always trump practice unless strict approval processes are put in place. In order to build a strong collection, this dissertation argues that museums need to find a balance between careful planning while also allowing space for unexpected collecting opportunities.

    View record details
  • Seeing Things Differently: The use of mobile app interpretation and its effect on visitor experience at two heritage sites in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Aitken, Jessica (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The practice of contemporary heritage interpretation has seen increased investment in digital technologies and more recently in mobile applications. However, few empirical studies assess how effective mobile apps are to the visitor experience of heritage sites. What kind of visitor experience do mobile apps provide? How do mobile apps deliver on the aims of interpretation for heritage sites? What types of apps work best? What are the challenges for developers and heritage professionals? A qualitative research approach is used to examine two case studies; High Street Stories: the life and times of Christchurch’s High Street Precinct and IPENZ Engineering Tours: Wellington Heritage Walking Tour. These case studies ask what kind of experience mobile apps offer as an interpretation tool at these heritage sites. To investigate the topic, email interviews were carried out with heritage professionals and digital developers; together with qualitative interviews with visitors recruited to visit the case study sites using the mobile applications. This study explores two current examples of mobile app technology in the heritage sector in a New Zealand context. The results of this study aim to augment current literature on the topic of digital interpretation. This study seeks to offer heritage managers and interpreters some key factors to consider when making decisions regarding the methods used to present and interpret heritage sites to visitors and in developing new interpretation and digital strategies that include mobile applications. Although each scenario presents its particular set of considerations and all heritage sites are different, it is hoped these recommendations can be applied and offer working models and strategies.

    View record details
  • The End of the Sea Wall

    McStay, Shannon (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    With climate change becoming more widely understood, we are beginning to see how this phenomenon is impacting on our ability to live coastally. Coastal properties represent some of the most expensive real estate in the country, however these properties are being battered by increasing storm surges causing coastal erosion and decay to the land on which they sit. This is resulting in people fighting to keep their homes out of the water, along with an increasing need for a solution to keep the water out of their homes. In Raumati, sea walls began appearing in the 1950s with people blocking their individual properties from the ocean with wooden log walls. These walls have continued to get larger, higher and more solid until they have become the rock accumulation, stone path and concrete walls that stand today along almost the entire length of the Kapiti Coast. The impact of such walls is that, while they protect the land immediately behind them, they cause greater issues further down the coast, causing sections of the coastline to deteriorate at a far more accelerated rate. The aim of this project will be to put an end to the Kapiti sea wall by addressing the site at the southern end of Raumati where this erosion is becoming increasingly evident. Here, the delicate sand dunes are being eaten away by heightened storm surges and an ever-increasing sea level. Rather than looking at it as a negative effect, this thesis will explore the opportunities that are opened by this decay. The project proposes the reinstating and re-wetting of the once drained wetlands that lie behind the natural dunes. Above these wetlands, a ranger’s hut will act as a home, embassy and church within Queen Elizabeth Park. This allows for a greater sense of custodianship, with more people coming, going and staying within the park. The project outcome will be a building that combines public and private spaces. It will allow for the fluctuation in sea levels to interact with and become a part of the building, rather than being excluded through traditional approaches to dealing with climate change on coastlines. Hence, this ranger’s hut will put an end to the sea wall.

    View record details
  • Capture and Activation of Carbon Dioxide Using Guanidine Superbases

    Bomann, Grace (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Due to its abundance and low-cost, carbon dioxide is a desirable C₁-building block within organic transformations. However, the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of CO₂ often necessitates preliminary activation before it can be inserted into organic molecules. This prompts the need for compounds that can effectively promote the activation of CO₂. This research investigates the capture and activation of carbon dioxide using a class of superbases that incorporate the bicyclic guanidine unit, 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-2H-pyrimido[1,2-a]-pyrimidine (hppH, 1). A series of compounds containing multiple hpp-units assembled around a phenyl ring scaffold were synthesized and investigated in the functionalization of CO₂. The work presented in this study has demonstrated the ability of protonated superbasic hppH derivatives to efficiently and effectively capture and activate carbon dioxide from ambient air to form the corresponding guanidinium bicarbonate salts. A series of optimization reactions was carried out, and showed that addition of substoichiometric concentrations of a proton source activates these guanidine compounds to their fully protonated cationic forms, and results in CO₂ capture through bicarbonate formation. A series of protonation studies were employed to fully characterize the cationic species. The tetraphenylborate and hydrochloride guanidinium salts were synthesized, isolated, and characterized by ¹H NMR and ¹³C NMR spectroscopic analysis. Molecular structures of relevant crystals were obtained through single crystal X-ray diffraction. These structures revealed a complex hydrogen-bonding network within these ionic species, and showed efficient delocalization of the formal positive charge within the protonated guanidinium units. The guanidine superbases were implemented in a series of reactions attempting the functionalization of CO₂ and an alcohol to form corresponding alkylcarbonate products. However, the synthesis of these carbonate products was not achieved under the reaction conditions employed. This lack of success has been attributed to the hygroscopic nature of this class of compounds, resulting in the preferential capture of ambient water.

    View record details
  • Population Genetics of New Zealand Scampi (Metanephrops challengeri)

    Verry, Alexander (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A fundamental goal of fisheries management is sustainable harvesting and the preservation of properly functioning populations. Therefore, an important aspect of management is the identification of demographically independent populations (stocks), which is achieved by estimating the movement of individuals between areas. A range of methods have been developed to determine the level of connectivity among populations; some measure this directly (e.g. mark-recapture) while others use indirect measures (e.g. population genetics). Each species presents a different set of challenges for methods that estimate levels of connectivity. Metanephrops challengeri is a species of nephropid lobster that supports a commercial fishery and inhabits the continental shelf and slope of New Zealand. Very little research on population structure has been reported for this species and it presents a unique set of challenges compared to finfish species. M. challengeri have a short pelagic larval duration lasting up to five days which limits the dispersal potential of larvae, potentially leading to low levels of connectivity among populations. The aim of this study was to examine the genetic population structure of the New Zealand M. challengeri fishery. DNA was extracted from M. challengeri samples collected from the eastern coast of the North Island (from the Bay of Plenty to the Wairarapa), the Chatham Rise, and near the Auckland Islands. DNA from the mitochondrial CO1 gene and nuclear ITS-1 region was amplified and sequenced. The aligned dataset of DNA sequences was then used to estimate levels of both genetic diversity and differentiation, and examine demographic history. Analyses of population structure indicate that M. challengeri from the Auckland Islands region are genetically distinct from M. challengeri inhabiting the Chatham Rise, and those collected from waters off the eastern coast of the North Island. There appears to be gene flow among the sampling sites off the eastern coast of the North Island and on the Chatham Rise, but some isolation by distance was detected. These results indicate that some of these populations may be demographically uncoupled. Genetic diversity estimates combined with Bayesian skyline plots and demographic history parameters suggest that M. challengeri populations have recently undergone a size expansion. The genetic structuring between the Auckland Islands site and all others may be due to a putative habitat disjunction off the Otago shelf. In contrast, a largely continuously distributed population along the eastern coast of the North Island and the Chatham Rise most likely promotes gene flow as larvae can be transported limited distances by oceanic currents. Historical changes in climate may have influenced the patterns of present-day structure and genetic diversity of M. challengeri, by altering habitat availability and other characteristics of their environment. This study provides evidence that species which appear to have limited dispersal potential can still maintain connected populations, but there are situations where large breaks in suitable habitat appear to limit gene flow. The results of this study will help inform stock structure of the M. challengeri fishery, which will enable stock assessments to be more precisely aligned to natural population boundaries.

    View record details
  • Experience-driven heritage

    Du, Sian (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Within the Wellington region, there are a number of abandoned military fortifications which were designed as a coastal defence system to protect the harbour from Russian attacks in late 19th Century. Changing circumstances have meant that this coastal defence infrastructure network is no longer functional, and this research aims to bring it back to life. The site chosen for this research investigation is Watts Peninsula, which is enjoyed by only a limited number of the wider public who only visit a small part of the site. The great size and topography of the landscape makes it a serious challenge to manage let alone transform. This site therefore seems to be a great opportunity to explore the disciplinary challenge of how to bring coastal military fortification sites back to life? Traditionally, the way to bring coastal sites with abandoned fortifications back to life is by treating them as heritage projects. They are protected and sometimes developed as more or less significant tourist destinations that display the significance of military history and heritage. This approach tends to break up the landscape into key areas, with the minimal path system required to connect up the various heritage items and locations on the site. This typical approach severely limits the range and richness of experiencing potential of a site like Watts Peninsula. This thesis will approach this project by engaging with the countless experiences found within the existing landscape; stepping the normal heritage approach. Topography, slope, vegetation cover, aspect and views were found to produce a great range of effectively separately experienced patches or landscape-experience zones. This thesis sought to understand how the site produced the involuntary types of movement-experiencing that it did and how it differentiated itself into these experience-zones. The types of experiencing that the site produced seemed to have a great deal to do with the interaction of paths/movement through the various mosaic of experience-zones. The aim of the analysis was to discover the actual and potential ways that the site is differentiated into these experience-areas and the actual and potential movement experiences that could allow access to these areas. The design investigation would aim to maximise the number and variety of these movement and experience-zones. The resulting development would aim to spread a complex mosaic-network of experiencing across as much of the site as possible. This network would be intended to develop in a way where the great richness of possible experiences and the mystery of the site are both increased. The project would require significant funds and so a housing scheme on the southern edge of the site seemed the most obvious way to provide income for such a development. The intended housing development was designed to increase the local population who would have access to the site but hopefully in a manner where the housing would not seriously impact on views to, or the experiences and mystery of the site. Overall, the design development would be intended to transform this landscape into a destination for varieties of adventuring, exploring and experiencing on a remarkable landscape. With the help of the housing, the possibility of this being an urban adventuring destination and the network of paths and experiencing could then provide something of a way to make the heritage transformation of the fortifications themselves a viable prospect. The treatment of the fortifications has not been engaged with in this project. So, it can be said that this research has attempted to avoid the normal way that coastal military fortifications tend to be developed and proposed, instead, an experience-driven approach to the site and to heritage.

    View record details
  • Data deciphered: A visual migration of VFX

    Fordyce, Robert (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The visual effects industry is an interconnected network of migratory professionals that is in an on-going state of dynamism. The transient nature of industry contracts and the resultant economic impact of studio ebb and flow is a largely uncharted, yet highly phenomenological subject, within design discourse. In the absence of a reliable metric to quantify employee migration, previous theories in this field have been speculative and conjectural. However, the wealth of data inherent in employment-oriented social-media profiles and online crowd-sourced databases provides a new way in which to identify and analyse collective trends in industry migration. Data Deciphered: A Visual Migration of VFX reveals the geographical and demographic patterns in the postproduction services industry through the data visualization medium. Furthermore, it investigates the optimal way to comprehend, filter and relate the large volume of information that is the sector’s migration patterns. This thesis first amassed a dataset of 82,711 migratory employment records specific to professionals within the visual effects industry over the previous 35 years. It drew this information from the public-facing pages of both the LinkedIn and Internet Movie Database (IMDB) online Internet platforms. This collection has been subsequently used to drive a 3D visualization tool that was constructed within the Unity5 game engine. This study has revealed that, despite claims to the contrary, California continues to function as the central hub of the visual effects world and that the majority of industry professionals have been located there at some point throughout their employment histories. Furthermore, environment and matte-painting roles have been identified as the most migratory, while technician and code professions tend to be more static. Finally, skills analysis demonstrates that while proficiency in software packages and coding languages is prevalent within the industry, ultimately, the possession of these abilities has negligible impact upon migration frequency.

    View record details
  • Yoga Communities in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Examining Spirituality, Secularism, and Consumerism in the Wellington Yoga Industry

    Tilley, Ali Hale (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This ethnographic study looks at the Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) yoga industry, examining the ways that spirituality, secularism, and consumerism influence modern yoga practices. This study argues that people in New Zealand choose yoga practices for different ethical, physical, and social reasons, reflecting their diverse sociocultural values. More specifically, data gathered during fieldwork shows that the Wellington yoga industry contains at least three community subcultures, which I refer to as: 1) moral communities, 2) corporate communities, and 3) brand communities. This means that at the level of local culture, the NZ yoga industry represents a wide range of yoga practices, which in turn reflect the diverse needs, consumer expectations, and imagined ideals of resident populations. Interdisciplinary literature from Religious Studies, Sociology, and Consumer Marketing Research help analyze the complex connections between spirituality as a set of embodied practices, secularisation of yoga as a reflection of corporate culture, and consumerism as a set of desired customer experiences. Yoga in NZ is currently under-researched, making this study a starting point for further inquiry.

    View record details
  • The Right to Language and its Contemporary Significance for New Zealand

    Connell, Charlotte (2006)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The right of linguistic minorities to speak their own language in community with other members of their group (the right to language) is deserving of specific attention for two reasons. Firstly, language is the currency of communication and one of the key indicia of cultural identity; and secondly, ensuring minorities have a secure place within a State is pivotal to promoting peace and stability within a nation. There are three sources of the right to language in New Zealand : the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, and the Treaty of Waitangi (for the Maori and Moriori languages). The right to language protects against both direct action by the State to limit linguistic minorities' use of their language. and State neglect of a minority language. This paper explores the right to language in the New Zealand context including the sources and elements of the right to language; the application of the right to the Maori language (and what lessons can be learned from this experience for the Moriori language); and two modes of revitalisation of minority languages: official recognition and television broadcasting. The paper observes that while the steps to improve language acquisition and use of the Maori language are admirable and need to continue to secure a meaningful place for that language in New Zealand, the Moriori language is in serious jeopardy and in need of urgent attention. Finally, the paper examines whether the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi may provide sound guidance for the consideration of the place of minority languages in policy and law making in New Zealand.

    View record details
  • Creta Capta: Late Minoan II Knossos in Mycenaean History

    Nash, Theodore (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Late Minoan (LM) II period at Knossos, c. 1470-1420 BC, represented a pivotal point in the history of the Aegean Bronze Age, but the full extent to which it shaped the following centuries has yet to be fully appreciated or studied. During this period, Mycenaeans from the mainland gained control of the palace of Knossos, an administrative centre hitherto unparalleled in their world. From the necessity of maintaining political control over an often hostile island, these Mycenaean dynasts were thrust into new roles, rulers of a palatial administration for the first time. Thus LM II Knossos can be viewed in its neglected aspect as a period of Mycenaean history, and the foundational phenomenon of the florescent Late Helladic III period – the birth of the Mycenaean palaces – can be placed within its proper historical context. The first Mycenaean experiment in palatial administration at LM II Knossos provided the model followed shortly after by the mainland polities, who in following this path to power dominated the Aegean for the next 200 years.

    View record details
  • Detection of Large Holocene Earthquakes in the Sedimentary Record of Wellington, New Zealand, Using Diatom Analysis

    Cochran, Ursula Alyson (2002)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    New Zealand is situated on the boundary between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. The Wellington region lies near the southern end of the Hikurangi subduction zone and within a zone of major, active strike-slip faults. Wellington's paleoseismic and historic records indicate that large surface rupture earthquakes have occurred on these faults in the past. Development of a complete record of past large earthquakes is a high priority for the region because of the risk posed by occurrence of large earthquakes in the future. The existing paleoseismic record has been derived predominantly from studies of fault trench stratigraphy, raised beach ridges and offset river terraces. The sedimentary record of lakes and coastal waterbodies is a source of information that has not been used specifically for paleoseismic purposes in the region. Therefore investigation of Wellington's sedimentary record is used in this thesis to make a contribution to the paleoseismic record. Holocene sedimentary sequences are studied from three small, low elevation, coastal waterbodies: Taupo Swamp, Okupe Lagoon and Lake Kohangapiripiri. Sequences of between 200 and 650 cm depth were collected using a hand-operated coring device. Sedimentology and diatom microfossil content were analysed and interpreted to enable reconstruction of paleoenvironment at each site. Radiocarbon dating was used to provide chronologies for the sequences that are aged between 5000 and 7500 calibrated years before present (cal. years BP). Diatom analysis is the main tool used to reconstruct paleoenvironment and detect evidence for occurrence of past large earthquakes. To aid reconstruction of sedimentary sequences used in this project, as well as coastal sequences in New Zealand in general, a coastal diatom calibration set was constructed using 50 sites around New Zealand. Modern diatom distribution and abundance, and associated environmental variables are analysed using ordination and weighted averaging techniques. Detrended correspondence analysis arranges species according to salinity preferences and divides sites clearly into waterbody types along a coastal gradient. This analysis enables reconstruction of waterbody type from fossil samples by passive placement onto ordination diagrams. Weighted averaging regression of calibration set samples results in a high correlation (r2jack=0.84) between observed and diatom inferred salinity, and enables salinity preferences and tolerances to be derived for 100 species. This confirms for the first time that species' preferences derived in the Northern Hemisphere are generally applicable to diatoms living in the coastal zone of New Zealand. Weighted averaging calibration and the modern analogue technique are used to generate quantitative estimates of paleosalinity for fossil samples. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions of Taupo Swamp, Okupe Lagoon and Lake Kohangapiripiri indicate that each waterbody has been isolated from the sea during the late Holocene. Isolation has been achieved through interplay of sediment accumulation causing growth of barrier beaches, and coseismic uplift. Ten distinct transitions between different paleoenvironments are recognised from the three sequences. These transitions involve changes in relative sea level or water table level often in association with catchment disturbance or marine influx events. All transitions occur suddenly and are laterally extensive and synchronous within each waterbody. Quantitative estimates of paleosalinity and waterbody type are used to differentiate between large and small magnitude changes in paleoenvironment. Five transitions involve large amounts of paleoenvironmental change and provide evidence for earthquakes occurring at approximately 5200, approximately 3200, and approximately 2300 cal. years BP. Five other transitions are consistent with the effects of large earthquakes occurring at approximately 6800, 2200, approximately 1000, approximately 500 cal. years BP and 1855 AD but do not provide independent evidence of the events. Environmental transitions at Lake Kohangapiripiri clarify the timing of rupture of the Wairarapa Fault by bracketing incompatible age estimates derived from two different sites on the fault. The oldest environmental transitions recognised at Taupo Swamp and Okupe Lagoon both occur at approximately 3200 cal. years BP indicating that western Wellington was uplifted at this time. Environmental transitions are recorded at all three study sites at approximately 2300 cal. years BP indicating that the entire western and central Wellington region experienced coseismic uplift at this time. Because of the distance between sites this apparent synchroneity implies that several faults in the region ruptured at a similar time. Investigation of sedimentary sequences contributes to the existing paleoseismic record by providing additional estimates of timing for past large earthquakes, enabling estimation of the areal extent of the effects of past earthquakes, and by highlighting periods of fault rupture activity in the late Holocene.

    View record details
  • Design Optimisation for 3D printed SLM objects

    Hill, Stephen Tane (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A common misconception about additive manufacturing (3D printing) is that any shape can be made in any material at the press of a button. The reality is that each process and material requires distinct Computer Aided Design (CAD) files that need to be optimised to the physical limitations of the manufacturing process. This optimisation process can have significant effects on the designer’s aesthetic intentions. Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is the new benchmark for functional 3D printed titanium designs where the optimisation process plays an important role in the outcome of the end product. The limitations imposed by the manufacturing process include build support material, heat transfer and post processing and designs are required to be optimised before the manufacturing process can commence. To date, case studies written on the SLM process have focused largely on engineering and functional applications in particular within the medical industry. However; this process has not been extensively studied from a visual and aesthetic industrial design perspective. This research will gather specific knowledge about the technical limitations involved in the Selective Laser Melting process and explore through a case study approach how a designer s intentions can be maintained or even enhanced when using this technology. With greater understanding of the SLM technology, the optimisation process may further provide positive outcomes to the designer by saving time, money and waste. This case study is built on an existing product design file as a base model. Refinements to the model were made based on findings from existing design research as well as digital and physical models. The existing design research was focused on challenges designers encounter using 3D printing technologies including SLM as well as the optimisation process. Models and design iterations were developed using Nigel Cross’s four step model of exploration, generation, evaluation and communication. By iteratively redesigning aspects of the model to conform to the SLM limitations, this study reviews opportunities for areas to reduce material without compromising the design intent.

    View record details
  • Datatecture: Creating a real home for a virtual identity

    Meekings, Scott (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    It is increasingly common to live in continual flux between reality and virtuality – for architecture this means a dwindling focus on the built environment. For the architectural discipline to respond to these rapidly changing user-demands, a proactive relationship with our digital environment is required. It is proposed that a key occupation of the architectural discipline in the near future will be designing architecture that caters to our ‘real-world’ selves but takes advantage of the broad range of data available to us from the digital realm. This thesis proposes that within the big data stored about all those who engage with the digital environment, lies data that can influence and benefit the architectural discipline and allow us to respond convincingly to the increasing focus on digital and virtual engagement. As people increasingly ‘live online’ architects can now derive information about clients not only from meeting them in person but also by scraping data on their digital lives and constructing what is referred to in this thesis as a digital identity. The digital identity can include data about a myriad of architectural influences such as taste, activity and lifestyle. This thesis considers which data may become available over the next decade, how architectural designers can embrace it without specialist data-centric skill-sets and how it may help personalise architecture. A large amount of data is collected on the author from both ‘real-world’ scenarios and ‘virtual’ inhabitation of digital space. This data, along with other public sources of data are explored in terms of architectural potential, culminating in a vision for a new data-based and ultimately more efficient method for personalising and inhabiting architecture.

    View record details
  • "Where the Nightmares End and Real-Life Begins": Radical Unreliability in Sydney Bridge Upside Down

    Clayton, Hamish (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The unreliable narrator is one of the most contested concepts in narrative theory. While critical debates have been heated, they have tended to foreground that the problem of the unreliable narrator is epistemological rather than ontological: it is agreed that narrators can be unreliable in their accounts, but not how the unreliable narrator ought to be defined, nor even how readers can be expected in all certainty to find a narration unreliable. As the wider critical discourse has looked to tighten its collective understanding of what constitutes unreliability and how readers understand and negotiate unreliable narration, previously divided views have begun to be reconciled on the understanding that, rather than deferring to either an implied author or reader, textual signals themselves might be better understood as the most fundamental markers of unreliability. Consequently, taxonomies of unreliable narration based on exacting textual evidence have been developed and are now widely held as indispensable. This thesis argues that while such taxonomies do indeed bring greater interpretive clarity to instances of unreliable narration, they also risk the assumption that with the right critical apparatus in place, even the most challenging unreliable narrators can, in the end, be reliably read. Countering the assumption are rare but telling examples of narrators whose reliability the reader might have reason to suspect, but whose unreliability cannot be reliably or precisely ascertained. With recourse to David Ballantyne’s Sydney Bridge Upside Down, this thesis proposes new terminological distinctions to account for instances of such radical unreliability: namely the ‘unsecured narrator’, whose account is therefore an ‘insecure narration’. Ballantyne’s novel, published in 1968, has not received sustained critical attention to date, though it has been acclaimed by a small number of influential critics and writers in Ballantyne’s native New Zealand. This thesis argues that the novel’s long history of neglect is tied to the complexities of its radically unreliable narration. With social realism the dominant mode in New Zealand literature from the 1930s to the 60s, the obligation of the writer to accurately render—and critique—local conditions with mimetic accuracy was considered paramount. Even those critics to have argued the novel’s importance often maintain, largely or in part, a social realist view of the book’s significance. Doing so, however, fundamentally elides the complexity of the novel’s narrative machinery and to deeply ironic ends: for, this thesis argues, Sydney Bridge Upside Down deploys its insecure narration as a complaint against the limits of social realism practised in New Zealand. Its unsecured narrator, Harry Baird, slyly overhauls realist reference points with overtly Gothic markers and cunning temporal dislocations to thus turn social realism’s desire for social critique back on itself via radical unreliability.

    View record details
  • Assessing the Vulnerability and Resilience of the Philippines to Disasters

    Yonson, Rio (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Some of the world’s most destructive disasters occurred in the Philippines, and a number of these happened in recent years. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, tropical cyclones Washi, Bopha, and Haiyan, respectively, left a staggering trail of over 8,000 deaths, as well as huge damages to assets and livelihoods. In 2009, tropical cyclones Ketsana and Pharma brought massive riverine floods, with a total damage and loss equivalent to 2.7% of the country’s GDP. This dissertation is an endeavour to measure disaster impacts and welfare risk, and to identify factors affecting vulnerability and resilience in different spatial scales in the Philippines. The first of four chapters is an extensive literature survey on the economic vulnerability and economic resilience to disasters. This serves as a prelude to the succeeding three empirical studies contained in Chapters 3 to 5. Chapter 3 aims to measure tropical cyclone-induced fatalities in the Philippine provinces, and identifies the factors that shape people’s vulnerability. It also quantifies the relative importance of hazard, exposure, and socioeconomic vulnerability in influencing fatalities. Chapter 4 is a household level study that quantitatively establishes the linkages between floods and diseases in the floodplains of a highly-urbanized city in the Philippines (Cagayan de Oro), and provides an estimate on the public finance implications of flood-induced diseases to the Philippine urban areas, and on the additional economic burden on affected households. Chapter 5 measures socioeconomic resilience and welfare risk from riverine flood disasters, and systematically quantifies the effectiveness of a menu of region-specific disaster risk reduction and management measures.

    View record details
  • Community resilience and urban core shelter implementation: A Wellington case study

    Titmuss, Ralph Peter (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    As a result of climate change, extreme weather events are becoming more common around the world. Coupled with the ever-present threat of sea level rise that coastal cities face there is a potential for far more severe weather events to occur. This thesis will seek to understand how an existing city can adapt to a more hostile environment, and how in the event of an extreme weather occurrence it maintains its function. There is an urgent need to understand how a city can respond when faced with these situations. Previous extreme weather events, Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and extreme flooding around the world, highlight the danger of a lack of preparedness and resilience found in most cities. The purpose of this thesis is to understand how the concept of a core shelter, as a way to address the threats of extreme weather events, can be applied to a well-established urban context, Wellington NZ. A core shelter is a structure that in the event of a large-scale disaster, protects its users, and post-disaster still reaches permanent housing standards without being deemed to be a permanent dwelling. It will also look at whether it is possible to create areas in an existing city that can be considered “safe havens” in the event of an extreme natural incident. This thesis outlines the need for these shelters by identifying the potential threats of climate change in a Wellington context, and by understanding the vulnerability of Wellington’s current building stock. It reaches a conclusion that through the implementation of core shelters in Wellington NZ, resilience will be improved, disaster response efforts will be aided, and destruction arising from extreme weather events will be reduced. In addition, it identifies the areas of Wellington that are deemed to be of higher risk in a disaster or extreme weather event, analyses an existing building’s potential to become a community resilience/core shelter, and proposes a custom building that could be built on Leeds St and Ghuznee St.

    View record details