6,445 results for Scholarly text

  • Sri Lankan households a decade after the Indian Ocean tsunami

    De Alwis, Diana; Noy, Ilan (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    We estimate the causal effect of the Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka on household income and consumption eight years after the event, using a quasi-experimental method. A strong association between area-wide tsunami disaster shock and increases in household income and consumption in the long-term emerged from our empirical investigation. Deviating from the common observation on short-term impacts, these results are suggestive of an optimistic potential for some long-lasting potentially successful recovery scenarios. Still, Sri Lanka received a very large amount of external transfers post-tsunami, much larger than is typical for disaster events and one which may not be replicable in other cases. Our findings suggest a more nuanced picture with respect to household consumption impacts. We observe a reduction of food consumption and only find an increase in non-food consumption. The increase in non-food consumption is much smaller than the observed increase in income. We also find that households in high-income regions experienced much better recovery from the disaster.

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  • Modelling New Zealand milk: From the farm to the factory

    Welsh, Melissa; Marshall, Sarah; Noy, Ilan (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Dairy products have long been an important dietary component, particularly for young children. Because of this the dairy industry is especially sensitive to contamination scares, and dairy is of particular importance to the New Zealand economy. This paper develops a Markov chain model for the early stages of the dairy supply-chain. Using the case of a major New Zealand Dairy company, simulations are run under various product-testing scenarios. Results point to the importance of where and when testing and interventions take place. Being strict about removing potentially contaminated product early on in the supply chain can reduce total losses and improve overall production output.

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  • Attitudes towards and use of ebooks at the University of Canterbury

    Scullin, Nick (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research Problem: There is a contradiction surrounding ebooks in that they are becoming more and more common in academic libraries but evidence often suggests that users still prefer print books to ebooks. The purpose of the study is to examine how users at the University of Canterbury are using the Library’s ebooks and what their attitudes towards ebooks are. The study also looks at what role age, gender, academic status and college affiliation play in shaping attitudes towards and use of ebooks. Methodology: The study used an online survey to discover how ebooks were used and viewed by users at the University of Canterbury. The survey was largely quantitative but included several comments sections where users could give more qualitative answers. The population sampled was the academic staff and PhD students of the University of Canterbury. Results: The results show that the participants are mostly aware of and using ebooks. Opinion is still divided on ebooks with some user still preferring print and many users preferring access to both print and ebooks. Age, gender, academic status and college affiliation all have some effect on attitudes towards and use of ebooks. Implications: Academic libraries need to take note of the opinions their users have about ebooks so as to better meet their needs. Some of the problems around ebook use can be solved by increased user education but others are the result of restrictions placed on ebooks by publishers and vendors. Other problems are inherent to the ebook format and cannot be ignored. Academic libraries can best meet their users’ needs by providing both print and ebook collections were possible.

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  • Palaeomagnetic secular variation recorded by lavas from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand

    Greve, Annika (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In order to understand the origin, temporal behaviour and spatial characteristics of Earth’s magnetic field, globally distributed records of the palaeomagnetic direction and absolute palaeointensity are required. However a paucity of data from the southern hemisphere significantly limits the resolution of global field models, particularly on short time-scales. In this thesis new, high quality palaeomagnetic data from volcanic materials sampled within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand are presented, with a focus on the Tongariro and Okataina Volcanic Centre. New palaeomagnetic directions were obtained from 19 andesitic or rhyolitic lavas, of which 10 also produced successful palaeointensity results. Palaeointensity experiments were conducted using a combination of traditional Thellier-type thermal, and microwave techniques. Detailed magneto-mineralogical investigations carried out alongside these experiments helped to characterise the primary remanence carriers and to justify the reliability of the results. The study also revises the age controls and results from earlier palaeomagnetic studies on Holocene volcanic materials from the area. All new or revised data are summarized into a new data compilation for New Zealand, which includes 24 directions and ten palaeointensities dated between 1886 AD and 15,000 yrs BP. The new directional data reproduces the features of the most recently published continuous record from Lake Mavora (Fiordland, New Zealand), although with directions ranging in their extremes from 321° (west) to 26° (east) declination and -82 to -49° in inclination, the discrete dataset describes somewhat larger amplitude swings. With few exceptions, the new palaeointensity dataset describes a steady increase in the palaeointensity throughout the Holocene, from 37.0 ± 5.7 μT obtained from a pre-8 ka lava to 70.6 ± 4.1 μT from the youngest (≤ 500 yrs BP) flows sampled. A similar trend is also predicted by the latest global field model pfm9k. Furthermore, the data falls within the range of palaeointensity variation suggested by the Mavora record. The dataset roughly agrees with a global VADM reconstruction in the early Holocene (> 5000 yrs BP), but yields values significantly above the global trend in the late Holocene (< 1000 yrs BP) which supports the presence of significant non-dipolar components over the SW Pacific region in the time period, visible in global field models and from continuous PSV records. A comparison of the directional records with the Mavora Curve provided refinement of age estimates of five lava flows from the Tongariro Volcanic Centre, from uncertainties in the range of 2-3000 years. The new palaeomagnetic emplacement age estimates for these flows have age brackets as short as 500 years and thus highlight different phases of the young cone building eruptive activity on Ruapehu volcano.

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  • Seismic Anisotropy at the Hikurangi Subduction Margin

    Wilson, Thomas (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    To determine the stress state in the southern North Island of New Zealand, we use shear wave splitting analysis to measure seismic anisotropy and infer the orientation of the maximum horizontal stress directions (Shmax) in the crust. We use data recorded by 44 temporary seismometers deployed as part of the Seismic Array Hikurangi Experiment, and from six permanent stations from the national GeoNet network. Using 425 local earthquake events recorded across the 50 stations we made 13,807 measurements of the two splitting parameters, φ (fast direction) and δt (delay time). These measurements are compared to SHmax directions obtained from previous focal mechanism studies (SfocalHmax), and stresses due to the weight of topography (SgravHmax). Generally there is good agreement between the alignment of SfocalHmax, SgravHmax, and the mean φ measured at each station. We also find a∼ 90◦ change in the trend of φ in the Wairarapa region for stations across the Wairarapa Fault trace. Based on the variation of φ, we divide the study region into three regions (West, Basin, and East), whose bounds approximately coincide with the Wairarapa and Dry Creek faults. We find the average φ of the West region average agrees with previous anisotropy studies, which were undertaken within the bounds of the West region on the Tararua array. Also, we use our delay time measurements to estimate a 3.7±1.2% strength of anisotropy in the overriding Australian Plate, which agrees with the 4% crustal anisotropy measured previously. There is close alignment of the region average φ of the West and East regions, which also agrees with the deep splitting measurements previously obtained. There is no significant difference between the mean φ and Sgravhmax for the West and Basin regions; however, we find a difference of 31± 19.5◦ for the East region. We argue that this difference is due to tectonic loading stresses being sufficiently large in the East region to cause the total stress field to deviate from the gravitational stress field.

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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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  • EEG evidence for the effective proactive control of emotional distraction

    Murphy, Justin (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Recent behavioural studies using an emotional flanker task have found that task-irrelevent emotional images are more distracting than neutral images under infrequent, but not frequent, distractor conditions.It has been proposed the effective control of distraction in the high distractor frequency condition may be due to a shift to a proactive control strategy, whereby a potential distraction is anticipated and minimised in advance. However, although it is well established that proactive control is effective at reducingneutral distraction, it is not yet clear whether emotional distraction can be effectively proactively controlled. In this thesis, I used EEG to measure pre-stimulus indices of proactive control in order to determine whether proactive control is responsible for the effective control of emotional and neutral distraction in the high distractor frequency condition, as well asto examine whether proactive control differs according whether a neutral or emotional distraction is anticipated.In addition to replicating the previous behavioural findings, posterior EEG alpha was found to be tonically suppressed in the high compared to low distractor frequency condition, strongly supporting the hypothesis that proactive control was engaged in the high distractor frequency condition. By contrast, there was no difference in phasic alpha suppression (i.e., the drop in alpha in response to fixation onset) between conditions, indicating that the more effective control of distraction in the high frequency distractor conditions was due to a sustained proactive control strategy, rather than greater trial-by-trial preparation to attend to the target. In addition, no alpha lateralisation was found, indicating the mechanisms by which distraction was proactively controlled did not include the preparatory suppression of expected distractor locations. Finally, tonic alpha did not differ according to the expected distractor valence, but phasic alpha suppression was more pronounced when negative, compared to neutral or positive, distractors were expected, independent of distractor frequency condition. This suggests proactive control was also used to some extent in the low distractor frequency condition, but more importantly also provides initial evidence that the proactive control of negative distraction may be unique. Taken together, my findings provide compelling evidence that emotional distraction can be effectively proactively controlled. Future research is needed to determine the mechanisms by which this occurs, and whether the proactive control of emotional distraction is particularly effortful.

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  • Tensions and Possibilities. The Interplay of 'Traditional' Cultural Elements and the Creation of 'Contemporary' Rapa Nui, Māori and Samoan Diasporic Theatre

    Fortin Cornejo, Moira (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis focuses on notions of ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’ theatre in two Pacific Island contexts, Aotearoa and Rapa Nui. It explores how notions of ‘tradition’ are imagined, recreated, and performed through the ‘contemporary’ creative arts, with a particular focus on theatre. It offers insight about culturally-situated understandings of ‘tradition’, and seeks to acknowledge diverse meanings and perceptions of theatre that exist across diverse Pacific Island cultures, languages, and epistemologies. Ideas about what constitutes ‘tradition’ have been significantly impacted by colonial histories, and that these culturally and historically situated ideas have wide-ranging implications for creative possibilities in the ‘contemporary’ performing arts. ‘Traditional’ performances are often seen as acceptable and relevant to Indigenous communities in Aotearoa and Rapa Nui, contributing to processes of cultural reclaiming and revitalisation. Although cultural continuity is a significant theme in Indigenous theatre in Aotearoa and Rapa Nui, the different emphasis placed upon notions of ‘tradition’ across these comparative contexts has led to very different artistic possibilities being available. In Rapa Nui there is a general reluctance in the performing arts to deviate from ‘tradition’ or to declare work as ‘contemporary.’ The reproduction of ‘traditional’ styles and stories is one response to ongoing colonialism in Rapa Nui, and to the ever present demands of the tourist industry. Māori and Samoan theatre practitioners in Aotearoa have developed theatre forms and processes that are based in cultural values and epistemologies while also being integrated with European theatre techniques, creating innovative approaches to ‘contemporary’ themes and understandings. These developments in the creative arts are supported by the availability of a wide range of theatre education opportunities. Culturally reflective and situated approaches to theatre education have enabled Indigenous theatre practitioners in Aotearoa to use theatre as a forum to express ideas and issues to the community weaving in a variety of different cultural influences, and techniques. This thesis utilised a case-study methodology and open-ended interviews, framed under the research methodology of talanoa, to interact with Māori, Samoan diasporic and Rapanui theatre practitioners, in order to explore their perceptions towards ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’ practices. This research focuses on the positives of cultural dialogue, and it emerges from a desire to support intercultural theatre practices in Aotearoa and Rapa Nui.

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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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  • Household vulnerability on the frontline of climate change: The Pacific atoll nation of Tuvalu

    Taupo, Tauisi; Cuffe, Harold; Noy, Ilan (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper investigates the vulnerability of households to climatic disasters in the low-lying atoll nation of Tuvalu. Small Island Developing States, particularly the atoll islands, are considered to be the most vulnerable to climatic change, and in particular to sea-level rise and its associated risks. We construct poverty and hardship profiles for households on the different islands of Tuvalu, and combine these with geographic and topographic information to assess the exposure differentials among different groups using spatial econometric models. Besides the observation that poor households are more vulnerable to negative shocks because they lack the resources to respond, we also find that they are also more likely to reside in highly exposed areas to disasters (closer to the coasts and at lower elevation) and have less ability to migrate (between and within the islands).

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  • Clustering and Classification in Fisheries

    Fujita, Yuki (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This goal of this research is to investigate associations between presences of fish species, space, and time in a selected set of areas in New Zealand waters. In particular we use fish abundance indices on the Chatham Rise from scientific surveys in 2002, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The data are collected in annual bottom trawl surveys carried out by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). This research applies clustering via finite mixture models that gives a likelihood-based foundation for the analysis. We use the methods developed by Pledger and Arnold (2014) to cluster species into common groups, conditional on the measured covariates (body size, depth, and water temperature). The project for the first time applies these methods incorporating covariates, and we use simple binary presence/absence data rather than abundances. The models are fitted using the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm. The performance of the models is evaluated by a simulation study. We discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of the EM algorithm. We then introduce a newly developed function clustglm (Pledger et al., 2015) in R, which implements this clustering methodology, and perform our analysis using this function on the real-life presence/absence data. The results are analysed and interpreted from a biological point of view. We present a variety of visualisations of the models to assist in their interpretation. We found that depth is the most important factor to explain the data.

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  • Parasite Ecology and the Conservation Biology of Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

    Stringer, Andrew Paul (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis combines investigations of parasite ecology and rhinoceros conservation biology to advance our understanding and management of the host-parasite relationship for the critically endangered black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis). My central aim was to determine the key influences on parasite abundance within black rhinoceros, investigate the effects of parasitism on black rhinoceros and how they can be measured, and to provide a balanced summary of the advantages and disadvantages of interventions to control parasites within threatened host species. Two intestinal helminth parasites were the primary focus of this study; the strongyle nematodes and an Anoplocephala sp. tapeworm. The non-invasive assessment of parasite abundance within black rhinoceros is challenging due to the rhinoceros’s elusive nature and rarity. Hence, protocols for faecal egg counts (FECs) where defecation could not be observed were tested. This included testing for the impacts of time since defecation on FECs, and whether sampling location within a bolus influenced FECs. Also, the optimum sample size needed to reliably capture the variation in parasite abundance on a population level was estimated. To identify the key influences on parasite abundance, the black rhinoceros meta-population in South Africa presented an extraordinary and fortuitous research opportunity. Translocation and reintroduction have created multiple populations from the same two source populations, providing a variety of comparable populations with the same host-parasite relationship. I applied my population-level faecal sampling and egg count protocol to collect 160 samples from 18 black rhinoceros populations over two summer sampling periods between 2010 and 2012. I test hypotheses for the influence of a variety of ecological and abiotic factors on parasite abundance. To test for the influence of individual-level host characteristics on parasite abundance, such as age and sex, I collected rectal faecal samples at the translocation of 39 black rhinoceros. At that time I also investigated the influence of body condition on a variety of measures of host resources, such as the size of sexually selected characteristics. Finally I developed a logical and robust approach to debate whether parasites of threatened host species should be controlled. For faecal egg counts, samples taken from the centre of faecal boluses did not change significantly up to six hours after defecation. The only factor which significantly affected the size of confidence intervals of the mean parasite abundance for a host population for both parasite groups was the level of parasite aggregation. The accuracy of estimates of mean parasite abundance increased with increasing sample size, with >9 samples having little further effect on accuracy. As host defecation no longer needs to be observed the efficiency of fieldwork for studies investigating elusive host species is greatly increased. On a population level, host density was the leading model explaining the abundance of both a directly and an indirectly transmitted parasite. For instance, doubling host density led to a 47% rise in strongyle parasite abundance. I found no support for competing hypotheses, such as climate-related variables, that were thought to affect the abundance of free-living stages of macroparasites. This result will be useful to conservationists as it will allow them to predict where parasite abundance will be greatest and may also reveal potential avenues for parasite control. On an individual level, younger individuals may have harboured higher levels of parasitism (p = 0.07). This result would be widely supported by the literature, but a larger host age range is needed to verify the result. I identified four sexual dimorphisms, with anterior horn volume and circumference, and body size, all showing a sex difference in both the slope and intercept of regression lines. Although sexually selected traits are implicated as most vulnerable to parasite impacts, I did not find an influence of parasite abundance on the size of these potentially sexually-selected characteristics or other measures of body condition. This may be because of numerous different factors affecting host resources, of which the parasite groups studied are a relatively small proportion. Parasites can be an important cause of population decline in threatened species. However, the conservation of potentially threatened parasites within host species is rarely considered. Here, I debated the potential benefits and pitfalls of parasite control to help identify the principles behind parasite control within threatened species. I rank 11 identified different types of parasite control by their potentially detrimental effects on host populations and ecosystems. I conclude that as the risk a parasite poses to host extinction increases, so does the justification for using parasite control methods with potentially detrimental effects. Also, the extinction risk of the parasite should determine the need for dedicated parasite conservation programs. These principles may be predominantly intuitive, but there are a number of examples in the literature where they have not been used, such as the treatment of parasites with low levels of virulence in host species of ‘least concern’. The principles provide a framework for the adaptive implementation of parasite control strategies in conservation-reliant species, like rhinoceros. I embarked on the first multi-population and comparative study of host-parasite relationships in the critically endangered black rhinoceros. This was made possible by empirically testing and refining field sampling protocols to overcome concerns about sample identification, number, and age. Through these well-developed, efficient sampling methodologies I was able to determine that host density was the main influence on parasite abundance within black rhinoceros on a population level – a result not previously proven for macroparasites. Influences on individual level variation need further investigation. In particular genetic factors, such as inbreeding, were not researched as part of this study. I successfully identified a number of sexual dimorphisms, but found no evidence that they were influenced by individual parasite abundance. Finally I use a targeted review of the literature to propose some principles behind whether parasites should be controlled within threatened host species. These principles should allow conservation managers to focus resources on those situations where parasite control is needed, and also help conservation managers avoid the potentially detrimental effects of parasite control. In these ways this thesis has advanced the study and understanding of parasites, their ecology, and their relationship to conservation-reliant hosts.

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  • The involvement of records managers in cloud computing decisions: A cross-sectional study of New Zealand records managers

    Duis, Emily (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research problem: Cloud computing has become an important topic in many organisations, due to the benefits it can provide to businesses and their operations. This increased interest in cloud computing is also reflected in the records management profession. However, records managers using cloud computing need to be aware of many factors that could negatively affect control of their records, and be able to manage these potential implications. This study aims to discover the level of involvement that records managers have in decision-making relating to cloud computing, and also to determine how informed records managers are about the implications of cloud computing. Methodology: The research design used was a cross-sectional study, with an online web survey being distributed to members of the NZRecords mailing list (an e-mail list for the New Zealand recordkeeping community). Results: The results of this study highlight that records managers have low levels of involvement in cloud computing decision-making, and mostly do not believe that their opinions will influence decisions about cloud computing in their organisations. The findings of the survey reveal awareness of the potential implications of cloud computing is high, although more resources and training should be made available to these records managers, especially in the area of portability and interoperability of records in the cloud. Implications: Requests are made for additional training resources to be made available. Suggestions are made for further research into the factors affecting records managers’ involvement in cloud computing decisions.

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  • Aesthetics, Accessibility and User-centered design: An analysis of the University of Otago Library Special Collections online exhibitions 2002-2013

    Black, Monique Aimee (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research Problem: This study analyses 42 online exhibitions which are currently available on the University of Otago Library Special Collections web page. The research integrates aesthetics, accessibility and user-centered design and focusses on each exhibitions functionality and appeal within these parameters. Methodology: The intention of this research is to compare and contrast 42 online exhibitions up until November 2013, with additional in-depth analysis of ten selected online exhibitions. Tools used were an LG wide-screen monitor and PC, and exhibitions were accessed via the Mozilla Firefox web browser 24.2.0. Results: Three clear issues with the exhibitions design were identified: 1) in the majority of exhibitions, the size of the type used was smaller than recommended accessibility guidelines, and fluctuated over time; 2) labelling rather than numbering cabinets in an index created improved usability; 3) overall aesthetics and functionality within the exhibitions improved over time, reflecting available technology. Implications: The 42 online exhibitions analysed provide insight into how available technology has improved the aesthetic appearance of the exhibitions and their functionality since 2002. The latter exhibitions contain far more images, varied and appealing page design, and an unobtrusive provision of further information on the cabinet artefacts. Usability and accessibility could be enhanced by consistent 12 point type within the main body and cabinets of the exhibitions, in addition to consistent labelling of cabinets which provides the patron a better understanding of the whole exhibitions theme, and the cabinets, wall and vitrines without too much ‘clicking’. Areas for future research into accessibility and patron inclusivity in online exhibitions for libraries are highlighted.

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  • NZ school librarians, technology leaders?

    Clephane, Susan (2013)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The purpose of this qualitative research study is to examine what role and views New Zealand school librarians currently have within their schools as technology leaders. At a time of technological developments in education, with both access to and implementation of ICT within school curriculums, what aids and hinders school librarian’s position as a technology manager? A variety of Auckland secondary schools were approached requesting a 30-60 minute interview with one of their librarians. Of the ones that agreed eight semi-structured interviews took place. The librarians were asked 14 open ended questions, some which were investigated further when necessary, and their answers were recorded, transcribed and results were drawn from their information. My results found that the majority of librarians felt well supported by their colleagues. Each school, had its own distinct hierarchy that effected the way librarians conducted their jobs and the place they had. Most librarians felt that their role was not meant to be a “technology leader” per-say, but rather someone that would incorporate it within the library to make the library a useful resource. Some schools had specific positions for their librarians to partake in technology leadership. This made the library more of an ICT focus for the school. Overall the librarians all had a variety of experiences, mostly stemming from the hierarchical dynamics within the schools and their own education in the library field. The implication for schools and their librarians, from this research may aid in considering the hierarchical set up their school currently has, how librarians view their role and what is a ‘norm’ versus alternative ideas. I think the discovery also reveals the various attitudes towards technology. This research may also increase awareness of the possible roles for school librarians in the future.

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  • Out of sight, out of mind? Non-user understandings of archives in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Davidson, Jared (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research problem: Despite a significant amount of research on archival users, only a small number of studies have focused solely on the non-user. This study investigated non-user understandings of archives in Aotearoa New Zealand to learn about their awareness of archives, perceptions of accessibility and use, and views on an archives’ purpose and societal role. This included whether non-users valued archives and what this said about the democratic archival contract. Methodology: A qualitative research design influenced by critical theory was employed. Eight non-user samples of individuals over the age of 18 were purposively selected within the population of Aotearoa New Zealand, covering variables of geographical location, socio-economic status, education, gender, age, and ethnicity. Three activist samples were also included. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews and analysed thematically. Results: While their image of an archive was generally accurate and positive, participants had little knowledge of how they were organised. Archives were highly valued and viewed as accessible places for those who needed it, but with clear differences to other institutions. These differences prevented half of the sample with a need to use an archive from doing so. The archival contract was generally accepted, but was problematized in terms of access and cultural bias. Implications: The findings support the view that understandings of archives greatly influence use. Although limited to a small and geographically specific sample, this study enables archives to know more about potential users, and design, target and implement outreach in order to raise awareness and increase use.

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  • Differentiated regulation: the case of charities

    Cordery, Carolyn; Sim, Dalice; van Zijl, Tony (2014)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The increasing number and influence of charities in the economy, allegations and evidence of fraud and mismanagement, and the need for information to inform policy, are all reasons for the establishment of charity regulators. Public interest and public choice provide underlying theories explaining charity regulation which aims to increase public trust and confidence in charities (and thus increases philanthropy), and to limit tax benefits to specific organisations and donors. Disclosure-based regulatory regimes are a common model for charities regulation in many jurisdictions. Nevertheless, these can be resource intensive for the regulator and regulated charities, and growing pressure on government budgets requires efficiencies to be found. This paper proposes regulation differentiated according to charities’ main resource providers. This could reduce cost and increase the regulator’s effectiveness through focusing effort. In addition, this differentiation segments charity types according to the theories that explain why these organisations form and operate. We demonstrate the feasibility of such segmentation by use of cluster analysis of data on New Zealand registered charities and show which charities could benefit from differentiated regulation.

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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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  • Radical Detours: A Situationist Reading of Philip K. Dick

    Raba, Andrew (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In this project I read four Philip K. Dick novels against the writing of the Situationist International (SI). In doing so, I seek to disrupt two critical trends that arguably impede Dick criticism: the depoliticization of Dick and the lack of focus on his style. Through reading his work against the politics of the SI, Dick’s own radical politics can be defined and reaffirmed. I make the case that Dick is a writer predominantly concerned with politics and ideology over and above philosophy and ontology. Secondly, I argue that the political power of Dick’s work is inseparable from his avant-garde style; in particular, his frequent use of what the Situationists termed détournement. With revolutionary politics and avant-garde aesthetics in mind, I re-examine the canonical novels Martian Time-Slip and Ubik, and redeem two of Dick’s neglected novels, The Game-Players of Titan and Galactic Pot-Healer.

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