1,938 results for Thesis, Share

  • Characterisation of rhizobia associated with New Zealand native legumes (Fabaceae) and a study of nitrogen assimilation in Sophora microphylla

    Tan, Heng Wee

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Many legume species have the capacity to fix atmospheric N₂ via symbiotic bacteria (generally termed “rhizobia”) in root nodules and this can give them an advantage under low soil N conditions if other factors are favourable for growth. There are four genera of native legumes, on the main New Zealand (NZ) islands. These are the closely related Carmichaelia, Clianthus and Montigena in the Carmichaelinae clade, tribe Galegeae, and Sophora, within the tribe Sophoreae: all are capable of nodulation. Little work has been done on the genotypic characterisation and host-range specificity of the rhizobia associated with NZ native legumes. Moreover, the ability of native legumes to assimilate soil N in comparison with their N₂ fixation has not been assessed. The primary objectives of this research were to 1) more fully characterise the rhizobia associated with the four genera of NZ native legumes, including their ability to cross nodulate different species and 2) assess the ability of Sophora microphylla to assimilate soil N in comparison with its N₂ fixation. Gene sequencing results indicated that the bacterial strains isolated from NZ native legumes growing in natural ecosystems in the current and previous studies were of the genus Mesorhizobium. Generally, the Carmichaelinae and Sophora species were nodulated by two separate groups of Mesorhizobium strains. Ten strains isolated from the Carmichaelinae showed 16S rRNA and nifH similar to the M. huakuii type strain, but had variable recA and glnII genes, novel nodA and nodC genes and the seven strains tested could produce functional nodules over a range of Carmichaelinae species but did not nodulate Sophora species. Forty eight strains isolated from Sophora spp. showed 16S rRNA similar to the M. ciceri or M. amorphae type strains, variable recA, glnII and rpoB genes and novel and specific nifH, nodA and nodC genes which were different from those of the Carmichaelinae strains. Twenty one Sophora strains tested were able to produce functional nodules on a range of Sophora spp. but none nodulated C. australis. However, eighteen of the twenty one strains produced functional nodules on Cl. puniceus. These results indicate that, in general, the ability of different rhizobial strains to produce functional nodules on NZ native legumes is likely to be dependent on specific symbiosis genes. Clianthus puniceus appears to be more promiscuous in rhizobial host than the other NZ native legumes species tested. Generally, strains isolated from NZ native Sophora spp. from the same field site grouped together in relation to their “housekeeping” gene sequences and ERIC-PRC fingerprinting banding patterns. Most strains were able to grow at pH 3 – pH 11 but only one showed phosphorus solubilisation ability and none showed siderophore production. The strains showed differences in their ability to promote the growth of S. microphylla under glasshouse conditions. DNA-DNA hybridisation tests indicated that strains isolated from New Zealand native Sophora spp. are of several new Mesorhizobium species. The ability of S. microphylla to utilise soil NO₃⁻ and NH₄⁺ in comparison with its N₂ fixation was assessed under glasshouse conditions. N₂ fixing (nodulated) plants showed substantially greater growth and tissue N content than those relying solely on NH₄NO₃, NO₃⁻ or NH₄⁺ up to the equivalent of 200 kg N ha⁻¹ and N limitation is likely to have been the major cause of reduced growth of non-N₂ fixing (non-nodulated) plants. NO₃⁻ levels were negligible in plant tissues regardless of NO₃⁻ supply, indicating that virtually all NO₃⁻ taken up was assimilated. Thus, there appears to be a limitation on the amount of NO₃⁻ that S. microphylla can take up. However, it is possible that S. microphylla could not access NO₃⁻ in the potting mix and further work is required using different substrate and more regular NO₃⁻ applications to confirm this. Plants showed NH₄⁺ toxicity symptoms at 25 kg NH₄⁺-N ha⁻¹ and above. Nitrate reductase activity was not detected in roots or leaves of mature S. microphylla in the field: all plants were nodulated. Overall, the two major findings of this research are 1) NZ native legumes are nodulated by diverse and novel Mesorhizobium species and 2) S. microphylla seedlings have limited ability to utilise soil inorganic N. Important future work based on the results obtained in this research is discussed.

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  • Ideological choice in the gravestones of Dunedin's Southern Cemetery

    Edgar, Philip Gerard (1995)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    xxv, 136 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Anthropology. "December 1995."

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  • Satire and Dickens

    White, Richard (1997)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    People have a fundamental need to feel good about themselves, and sometimes we can achieve this at the expense of others. If I can laugh at someone who does something stupid, or feel superior to someone who does something unjust, or rebel against an institution which violates some natural law, then so much the better for me. Essentially, this is why I read satire. Until recently this sort of approach does not seem to have appealed to literary critics - perhaps because it demeans their subject matter - but there are many essential human needs which are satisfied by a reader's imaginative response to satire, and there is nothing ignoble in that. Satire allows us to escape the constrictions that society places on us. When we read satire we can behave badly: we laugh at other people, cackle at their stupidity, and snigger at their pomposity or hypocrisy; we revenge ourselves upon people who have bored, annoyed, or cheated us. All of this misbehaviour is sanctioned by moral propriety, and by the figure who establishes what is proper and what is not, the satirist. It is the satirist who sets up little moral victories for us, made possible by satiric attack. However, when satire becomes part of a novel, it must there vie for ascendancy with other guises of the author. The satirist must compete with the moralist, the comic, or the sentimentalist, and when this happens the reader too must evaluate their satiric victories alongside the other emotions they feel when they read other parts of a novel. Charles Dickens has many such guises, and consequently he particularly challenges the reader to cope with many different responses. This is where satire becomes even more interesting, because the victories are tempered by other, perhaps more noble emotions. The novels of Dickens present the reader with a constant battle between good and bad: both the author's and the reader's.

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  • Floral resource subsidies for the enhancement of the biological control of aphids in oilseed rape crops

    Varennes, Yann-David

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Food production is achieved by the interaction of man-made infrastructures with natural ecosystems, the latter providing soil, light, and regulating services, including biological control. However, such natural capital has been put increasingly at risk by modern agricultural practices. For example, the use of insecticide compounds can be harmful to organisms in the soil, the water and the vegetation, including beneficial insects. This thesis investigated how the ecological management of a conventional oilseed rape (OSR) cropping system can enhance the biological control of insect pests by their natural enemies, which could alleviate the use of insecticides. OSR hosts three aphid species, namely, Brevicoryne brassicae (L.), Myzus persicae (Sulzer), and Lipaphis erysimi (Kaltenbach). In New Zealand, these three species are attacked by the parasitic wasp Diaeretiella rapae (McIntosh) [Hymenoptera: Braconidae], which completes its larval development inside an aphid body, and is a free-living organism when adult. In that stage, the wasp only feeds on carbohydrate-rich fluids, e.g. floral nectars and honeydew. Floral resource subsidies consist in the addition of nectar-providing vegetation in the habitat of parasitoids, to enhance their reproductive output, which in turn cascades into decreased pest density. This approach has known successes and failures, and its potential could be increased by a better understanding of its ecological functioning. In the introduction, this thesis lists current knowledge gaps in the ecology of floral subsidies targeted at enhancing the control of pests by parasitoids. In the second chapter, this thesis reports how nectar feeding affects the behaviour of D. rapae. It was observed that feeding on buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) enhanced ca. 40-fold the time spent searching for hosts and greatly reduced the time spent stationary. The consequences of this for the reproduction of the parasitoid, and biocontrol, are discussed. The third chapter addresses the potential competition between pollinators and parasitoids for nectar, when the latter is provided as a floral subsidies. This question is crucial because the potential effect of floral subsidies on biocontrol could be negated by if the provided nectar is consumed by pollinators. A manipulative field experiment indicated that this negative interaction is not existent or weak, although the power of the test was low. A laboratory trial presented in the fourth chapter showed that the longevity of D. rapae fed on OSR or buckwheat nectar was enhanced ca. 3-fold compared to unfed conspecifics. Feeding on M. persicae honeydew and nectar from two candidate floral subsidies enhanced longevity ca. 2-fold, indicating a lower nutritional quality. Two other plants did not cause any longevity enhancement. The value of these results with regard to the understanding of the nutritional ecology of D. rapae is discussed. The food-web of aphids, parasitoids and hyperparasitoids (fourth trophic level) living in OSR crops in New Zealand has not been documented. Understanding the composition and structure of the food-web is important to guide the implementation of floral subsidies. The fifth chapter presents a protocol for the reconstruction of food-webs, based on the molecular analysis of aphid mummies. The further use of this tool for the construction of aphid-based food-webs in general is discussed. The thesis findings are discussed in the context of OSR as an ephemeral, multi-species, spatially complex and dynamic habitat. The concept of “foodscape” is adapted to parasitoids and biological control. In its last section, the discussion integrates ecological and agricultural considerations to suggest the intercropping of a flowering plant in OSR crops.

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  • Measuring the relationship between audit committee characteristics and earnings management: evidence from New Zealand listed companies

    Toh, Moau Yong

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    The recent corporate accounting scandals, such as the Enron scandal in 2001 and the WorldCom scandal in 2002, have increasingly drawn the attention of regulators around the globe to the monitoring role of audit committees in the financial reporting process. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between the NZX’s recommendations on audit committee characteristics and earnings management in NZX listed companies. In particular, this study examines the relationships between earnings management and audit committee size, independence, financial expertise and diligence, as per the NZX’s recommendations. This study finds that the NZX’s recommendations that audit committees should comprise a majority of independent directors and at least one financial expert are associated with lower earnings management. Besides, companies whose audit committees meet at least quarterly report lower earnings management. Since the NZX does not recommend best practice for audit committee meetings, this finding has implications for New Zealand regulators and practitioners that meeting at least quarterly is a key criterion of audit committee effectiveness, hence, a change to corporate governance rules and principles may be necessary. However, this study finds that audit committee size is not related to lower earnings management, suggesting that detection and control of earnings management relies more on the independence, financial expertise and diligence of audit committees to generate quality discussions and monitoring duties. Except for the U.S.A., the results of this study do not differ materially from other major countries, such as Australia. This study contributes to the existing literature by providing evidence about the relationship between audit committee characteristics, as per the NZX’s recommendations, and earnings management in countries with similar institutional and legal environment to New Zealand.

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  • Exploring career success with the new paradigm of career crafting

    Vidwans, Mohini

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    With the key objective of testing the new paradigm of career crafting, this study examined the main questions about career decisions – how do people choose careers, what motivates and guides their decision-making with regard to exploration, growth and change, and how do they define career success? These are important issues given the rapid pace of the far-reaching changes that have taken place over the past few decades, resulting in a paradigm shift in the personal and work spheres. A qualitative research approach was adopted utilising semi-structured in-depth interviews with 36 accounting professionals in New Zealand – 15 from accounting academia and 21 from large accounting firms. Built on the job crafting model (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001), this study has created the new paradigm of career crafting by enhancing the principles of cognitive, task and relational crafting. While capturing the agentic spirit of individuals in developing their careers, it is acknowledged that an individual’s choices do not completely reside within the person. The external factors play a vital role in the shaping of career pathways, either by offering support and facilitating growth, or by creating and imposing constraints. However, the central principle of career crafting is that individuals create new opportunities or utilise the opportunities provided by the positive changes or mitigate the negative impact of the adverse situation through invention/adaptation strategy. A figure depicting a crafting triad represents the close association between the three crafting practices – cognitive, task and relational crafting. These factors are interlinked and interdependent; they have to act together cohesively in order to attain the desired effect of career crafting. It was identified that career crafting played an important role in achieving personal success which is determined by satisfaction in personal and professional spheres. It was also recognised that the desired outcomes varied for different individuals. Finally, career crafting paradigm confirmed the association between crafting skills, external factors and personal success. Gender and the redefinition of gender-based roles added new dimensions to the analysis of these career decisions. Investigation of career orientation revealed distinct gender differences. It was noted that women had an adaptive focus on career whereas men could focus on their careers to a greater extent confirming the traditional career patterns. This study comments on the other side of the glass ceiling, wherein it is observed that women chart their career pathways mainly through the perception of their roles and the behaviours that comprise them. Married women were able to focus on careers when they garnered support from their spouse and organization though their crafting practices. While this study focussed on the accounting profession, it is believed that the awareness of career crafting practices would benefit individuals in charting their career pathways. This information could also be embedded in the process of building better work designs where organizations could consider these issues while planning human resource policies for mutual benefits. The eventual outcome of career crafting is that individuals can develop their possible selves and build capabilities to achieve personal success.

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  • Multiple perceptions of reality: a new lens for examining on-farm milk quality in New Zealand

    Cox, Robyn

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Although improvement of on-farm milk quality (OFMQ) is a goal of the New Zealand dairy industry, no New Zealand research has attempted to elicit the multiple perceptions of industry stakeholders about the pursuit of change. Accordingly, this thesis sets out to establish these perceptions. Events and ideas that contributed to OFMQ perceptions are investigated, and perceived barriers and constraints for further improvements as identified by stakeholder groups are presented. Information was drawn from both in-depth interviews and secondary sources. Checkland’s Soft Systems methodology (SSM) was used as an epistemology for eliciting the research questions that generated the data for this thesis, and Kurt Lewin’s Force Field model was used to present the results. The data were analysed and presented as a combination of rich pictures and dialogue. There have been changes over the 1992 -2012 period as to how milk quality is defined by the marketplace. Dimensions such as sustainability and ethics are now important as well as physical attributes encompassing chemical and biological qualities. Both regulatory and achieved standards for food safety and quality have increased. It was evident that there are major differences both between and within stakeholder groups as to needs, drivers and constraints for further improvement. These differences ranged from the perceptions within the marketplace regarding milk quality measures, the motivation to reduce on-farm somatic cells, and the perceptions surrounding relationships both within and beyond the farm-gate. The key conclusion is that the NZ dairy industry requires more engagement with the complex perceived realties of OFMQ amongst the various stakeholders. This requires a collaborative approach, and better recognition of target-audience diversity. Given the diversity of perceptions within the industry, SSM provides a suitable framework for system analysis and improvement of OFMQ.

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  • Potential of manuka and kanuka for the mitigation of nitrous oxide emissions from NZ dairy farms

    Fitzgerald, Roshean

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Author later known as Woods, Roshean.

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  • An Investigation of the challenges in International Financial Reporting Standards’ adoption: evidence from Nigerian publicly accountable companies

    Edeigba, Jude

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    In search of a global accounting framework, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have been implemented by over 140 countries around the world. There are different motivations for the adoption of IFRS by national accounting standards setters. These include the perceived benefits associated with IFRS adoption. Withal the worldwide adoption, the adoption of IFRS by companies has been successful in some countries and unsuccessful in other countries. Whether or not IFRS adoption will be successful depends on the challenges companies face in the adoption. The challenges in IFRS adoption are heterogeneous and different challenges have been reported in countries that have implemented IFRS such as Australia, New Zealand, Romania, Turkey, South Africa and Kenya among others. However, the international accounting systems have continued to shift from national accounting practices to IFRS. Following the World Bank Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC), the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) implemented IFRS in 2010 for both listed and non-listed companies. The three types of IFRS (i.e. IFRS for publicly accountable companies, IFRS for SMEs and International Public Sector Accounting Standards) were implemented. In the first year of filing IFRS financial statements by publicly accountable companies, most companies required to adopt IFRS could not produce IFRS financial statements as required. This failure is attributed to the challenges in IFRS adoption. However, these challenges were not reported. Therefore, it was not clear what type of challenges Nigerian companies faced in the adoption of IFRS. There is a limited understanding of the challenges in IFRS adoption as a result of the inconsistency in previous research findings. Therefore, this study examined the challenges Nigerian companies face in IFRS adoption by investigating different factors that inhibit the adoption of IFRS. Specifically, companies’ cultural factors, practical difficulties in IFRS application and the effects of industry were examined. A survey instrument was used to collect data from the preparers of financial statements which resulted in 519 usable questionnaires. The study applied chi-square test, t-test, and Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) to identify different factors associated with IFRS adoption. Further analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses using the logistic regression models. First, it was found that companies’ cultural factors were significant in explaining the challenges in IFRS adoption. Specifically, transparency, statutory control, secrecy, flexibility, and professionalism were found to inhibit IFRS adoption. The empirical results indicated that as the transparency in financial reporting increases by using IFRS, the greater the likelihood companies will not adopt IFRS. In the practical difficulties model, the majority of the companies considered the cost of IFRS adoption prohibitive and the lack of an internal control system was also a significant factor that influenced IFRS adoption. The study also identified variations in the industry effects. Companies in the financial services industry had a greater likelihood of IFRS adoption, while companies in the agricultural industry were least likely to adopt IFRS. Other industries included in the study varied considerably in terms of the likelihood of IFRS non-adoption. Some of the findings were consistent with the challenges identified in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Romania, Turkey, South Africa, and Kenya, while some were specific to the case of Nigeria. The research contributes to the Nigerian accounting practice and international accounting research. Further, the influences of companies’ cultural factors on IFRS adoption have not been empirically investigated in the international accounting literature. Therefore, the research provided empirical evidence of the influences of companies’ cultural factors on IFRS adoption in the case of Nigeria. Areas for future research have been identified for international accounting researchers.

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  • A city in a water crisis: the responses of the people of Gaborone

    Kadibadiba, Arabang Tshepiso

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Worldwide, countries are challenged by the increasing pressure on potable water resources. In Botswana these pressures are particularly severe. Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, is faced with a water crisis. There are no nearby permanent water sources to supply the city and successive years of drought led to extreme water shortages in Gaborone in 2015. This study investigates how the government has responded to the developing water shortage over the last decades and how the water use and management practices of the people changed in response to this water crisis. Social practice theory is applied as an analytical theoretical framework with a focus on the elements of practices and the norms of consumption (three Cs of cleanliness, comfort and convenience) reveal how and why consumption takes place. It is shown that the co-evolution of water supply infrastructure and customer demand creates imperatives and expectations that water is always available and ready to be used. It is also concluded that practices of water use are shaped around the concepts of cleanliness, comfort and convenience and that when water was very scarce, practices evolved so that acceptable social standards could still be maintained. The study shows that although people’s practices changed, there were limits to their adaptability in the context of the supply and demand paradigm that dominates water infrastructure across the world. This study illustrates that social practice theory’s conventions of comfort, cleanliness and convenience (the 3Cs) needs to be extended to survival to adequately capture how people respond in a resource constrained situation, which is a contribution this thesis makes to the social practice theory literature. While the importance of technical supply solutions to water situations cannot be overlooked, this study shows that addressing water demand and supply cannot be entirely dependent on them. Understanding people’s social practices and the ways in which they adjust to changes in water provision can be valuable to inform policy aimed at building resilience and adaptive strategies to crisis situations such as water paucity.

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  • The effect of irrigation practice on drainage and solute leaching under spray irrigation on a stony soil

    Robertson, Balin Burns

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Research was conducted to assist in the improvement of irrigation efficiency on the shallow stony soils of Canterbury and identify the effect of current irrigation practice on the redistribution of solute within the soil profile. Irrigation treatments were measured using twenty-four undisturbed monolith lysimeters containing a stony Eyre shallow silt loam soil. Treatments included 15/10, 15/15, 30/20, 30/30, 60/40 and 60/60, being the respective soil deficit irrigation trigger/irrigation depth combinations (mm). The trial was split into three experiments. Experiment 1 began with a surface application of bromide tracer before exposing the lysimeters to the irrigation treatments for three months. Experiment 2 and 3 were designed to examine how the bromide had been redistributed within the pores during Experiment 1. Experiment 2 irrigated 250 mm depth continuously at 50 mm/hr to drain bromide in the macropores, while Experiment 3 irrigated 500 mm depth continuously at 2 mm/hr to drain bromide in the soil matrix. Over the three experiments, leachate was collected regularly and analysed for bromide. Preferential flow dominated solute leaching, occurring in the first drainage event irrespective of the application volume and frequency of irrigation, with leached bromide moving predominately through the macropore fraction of the soil. Treatments with greater irrigation quantities corresponded with more extensive preferential flow, drainage and for the most part, leaching in Experiment 1. Treatments irrigated to field capacity (FC) had greater leaching and drainage as well, as uniform irrigation of lysimeters in a treatment meant soil heterogeneity caused some lysimeters to exceed FC before others. Generally, there were no significant treatment effects on the cumulative bromide leached across the experiments, reflecting the dominance of preferential flow under the irrigation conditions studied. There was evidence that bromide distribution in the profile at the end of Experiment 1 was affected by treatments, with moisture status after irrigation having an effect on the bromide peak mass readings in Experiment 2, while the moisture deficit irrigation trigger influenced the bromide peak mass and cumulative mass readings in Experiment 3. However, effects were not consistent across treatments and experiments, making interpretations difficult. The results indicate that irrigation practices on Eyre shallow silt loam soils at 50 mm/hr needs to be adjusted for preferential flow, which has a dominant influence on solute distribution within the soil profile. Results imply that the 15/10 treatment had the least leaching as less extensive preferential flow means solute remains within the profile and has a greater opportunity to be immobilised.

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  • Antimicrobial production by Pectobacterium carotovorum subspecies brasiliensis and its role in competitive fitness of the potato pathogen

    Durrant, Abigail

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Pectobacterium carotovorum subspecies brasiliensis (P. c. subsp. brasiliensis), a member of the soft rot Erwinias (SREs), was first described as the causative agent of a stem disease in potato called blackleg. Blackleg describes the blackening, wilting and necrosis of potato stem tissue. Initially detected in Brazil, P. c. subsp. brasiliensis subsequently emerged as a pathogen in temperate regions, although the mechanisms that contributed to its emergence are unknown. A second SRE pathogen, Dickeya solani, also emerged as an aggressive potato pathogen in Europe. Dickeya solani successfully displaced the previously dominant blackleg causing pathogens, such as P. atrosepticum. Comparative genomic studies, using the genome of D. solani plus other SRE genomes such as Pectobacterium, identified some D. solani specific genes. Three of these loci were identified as novel non-ribosomal synthetase/polyketide synthatase (NRPS/PKS) genes, which all encoded previously unknown products. It was predicted that the combination of these novel gene clusters provided the adaptive advantage, which enabled D. solani to successfully emerge as a pathogen. The genome of a P. c. subsp. brasiliensis strain isolated from infected potato plants in New Zealand, P. c. subsp. brasiliensis ICMP 19477, was recently sequenced. The bacterium was found to encode many genes associated with antimicrobial production, including bacteriocin and carbapenem synthesis, as well as a putative novel NRPS locus. A number of the identified loci were not present in the genomes of other SREs. One of these antimicrobial clusters, or a combination of these clusters, may be an important mechanism in the emergence of P. c. subsp. brasiliensis. However, the ecological significance of antimicrobial molecules is not understood. It has previously been reported that, P. c. subsp. brasiliensis PBR1692, is antagonistic to P. atrosepticum SCRI1043 in vitro (Marquez-Villavicencio et al., 2011). However, in planta significance of this interaction appeared minimal during co-inoculation studies in potato stems. Pectobacterium betavasculorum, was also reported to inhibit the growth of other Pectobacterium species when co-inoculated in potato tubers. This study found that P. c. subsp. brasiliensis ICMP 19477 outcompetes P. atrosepticum SCRI1043 in both in vitro plate and in planta competition assays, when co-inoculated in potato tubers. However, this was not observed in in vitro liquid competition assays. This suggested that the antagonistic effect of P. c. subsp. brasiliensis ICMP 19477 on P. atrosepticum SCRI1043 only occurred in structured environments. Functional studies identified that P. c. subsp. brasiliensis ICMP 19477 produces a secreted antimicrobial molecule at late exponential / early stationary phase. A random transposon (Tn5) mutant library of P. c. subsp. brasiliensis ICMP 19477 identified three mutants, within the genes carR, slyA and carI, which were unable to inhibit the growth of P. atrosepticum SCRI1043 in vitro. These mutated genes are known to be involved in carbapenem regulation in P. c. subsp. carotovorum. Furthermore, these mutants also lost the competitive advantage against P. atrosepticum SCRI1043 when co-inoculated in potato tubers. This evidence suggested that a carbapenem molecule, produced by P. c. subsp. brasiliensis ICMP 19477, enhances the competitive fitness of the bacterium in planta. Overall, this study provided novel insights into the ecological significance of antimicrobial production by plant pathogens, thereby, identifying possible mechanisms for pathogen emergence.

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  • European expert buyers perceptions of New Zealand products and businesses by level of knowledge and experience: an investigation of the food and beverage industry

    White, Jeremy

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    As a country, New Zealand’s economy is dependent on its export markets. This is especially true for the food and beverage industry. With exporting so vital to the nation’s economy, it should be imperative to understand how the country’s products and businesses are perceived from a buyer’s standpoint. This is especially true for the European Union, as it is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner. Together, the European Union members take around 11.5 percent of New Zealand’s exports (in value terms) (Statistics New Zealand, 2014). For New Zealand businesses, being able to understand how the European buyers perceive your performance should be of great importance. Knowing this would allow businesses to allocate resources more efficiently, and meet the needs of the buyers easier. This research will draw on key theory from buyer-seller relationships and the country of origin theory. There have been very few studies addressing this topic from a New Zealand context, but no studies that have looked specifically at perceptions of New Zealand businesses and products from an expert buyer’s point of view. Also yet to be researched, is whether there are any differences in how buyers perceive New Zealand products and businesses across different levels of knowledge and experience. For this study, a quantitative approach was used to discover the perceptions held by the European expert buyers. Bipolar adjective scales were used to test product and business attributes. This led to a comparison of means for the sets of scales to see how the European buyers perceived New Zealand products and businesses. One-way ANOVA’s and least significant difference post hoc tests were selected as the best methods to examine whether perceptions change as European buyers gain experience with New Zealand’s products and/or businesses. The 132 respondents were able to provide a diverse sample in terms of the countries they were from, industries they were in, size of their business, and experience with New Zealand’s products and businesses. The perceptions of New Zealand’s products and business attributes showed how well they were preforming. Largely, they were viewed as being excellent in the European market. These findings differed somewhat to what the previous literature had shown. Generally, New Zealand businesses were viewed more positively than products by the European buyers. It was also found that perceptions do change across attributes as European’s gain experience with New Zealand’s products and/or businesses. The ANOVA and least significant difference post hoc tests showed that perceptions about New Zealand products and businesses do change depending on level of experience/knowledge. Although, that change varies between seven product and thirteen business attributes and the level of experience (low, medium and high). It was found that the more experience a buyer has the more positively they would rate the attribute. Overall, it was concluded that with New Zealand preforming exceptionally in the European marketplace, trading should be increased. Awareness of New Zealand products and businesses inside the European marketplace needs to be increased, and perceptions should match that of the European buyers who have high experience/knowledge with New Zealand.

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  • Corporate fraud: an empirical analysis of corporate governance and earnings management in Malaysia

    Mohamed Sadique, Raziah Bi

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    The recent failures of corporations such as Enron, WorldCom and HIH Insurance, to name but a few, have heightened investor awareness of the need to not only evaluate company performance, but also to consider the possibility that financial statements may not be a true reflection of company results, as fraudulent activities may have occurred during the reporting period. Since parties who are external to the firm do not have access to pertinent information, they have to rely upon published financial and non-financial data in order to form an opinion regarding performance and/or the risk that fraudulent activities may have occurred. The objective of this study is to determine if published information contains critical factors that could indicate if a company is at risk of fraud. The prior literature shows a relationship between weak corporate governance and the occurrence of earnings management and/or fraudulent activities, although most if not all of this research relates to Western economies. The differences in institutional setting e.g. cultural values and legal environment in Malaysia would not give the same findings with the study in western economies. Composing of many ethnic, Malaysian is a multicultural country. With each ethnic group upholding its own culture, values and belief, business are conducted according each ethnic’s culture. The results of this study could shed some light on the influence of institutional setting on corporate governance and earnings management practices. There is not much research on corporate fraud in Malaysia; therefore, this study will focus on the Malaysian economy and examine the relationship between corporate governance, earnings management and corporate fraud. Companies that were charged with accounting and auditing offences from year 2003 to 2007 were selected as the fraudulent sample. Data were collected for the year companies were charged with fraud and the year prior to that. Both univariate analysis and logistic regression analysis were carried out to determine the significant differences between fraudulent and non-fraudulent companies with respect to corporate governance characteristics and earnings management indices. The results indicated that the size of the board and the percentage of institutional shareholdings had significant relationships with the likelihood of corporate fraud occurrences consistently across the two-year period studied. The results on earnings management showed only that the gross margin index had a significant relationship with the likelihood of corporate fraud consistently over the five-year period studied. The study also found that fraudulent companies adopted income increasing method in time of difficulty which is consistent with past study in other countries for gross margin (lower gross margin index). The results of this study will assist public, corporate and accounting policy makers in formulating more effective corporate governance mechanisms and financial reporting systems.

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  • Effect of the environment during seed development on brassica seed quality

    Rashid, Muhammad

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    High quality seed is essential for the establishment of a good crop. New Zealand grown brassica seeds usually have high germination but often have variable seed vigour. The latter can result in poor crop establishment and storability. High temperature stress during seed development is known to reduce seed vigour in some species, but whether temperature stress is responsible for seed vigour loss in brassica species was not known. The effects of high temperature during seed development on forage rape (Brassica napus) seed quality were determined by assessing seed mass, germination and vigour using a sowing date trial and field and controlled environment experiments. A time of sowing trial was conducted in the 2011-12 season. A late flowering forage rape cultivar “Greenland” was sown on 25 March and 13 April, 2011 with sowings replicated four times in a randomized complete block design. Seed quality was assessed at three seed development stages (determined by seed moisture content (SMC)): at physiological maturity (PM) (≈50% SMC), pre-desiccation final stage (≈25% SMC) and harvest maturity (≈14% SMC). Seed had attained PM at between 47-52% SMC which was similar to other brassica species. The seed quality testing results demonstrated that sowing time had no effect on seed germination in the prevailing environmental conditions in that season, and at PM there were no differences in seed vigour. However, seed vigour was significantly reduced in seeds harvested at the pre-desiccation (≈25% SMC) and harvest maturity (HM) (≈14% SMC) stages for the early sowing. This was explained by a longer time of exposure to conditions which caused weathering during maturation for the March sowing. In a controlled growth room, set at 30/25 ˚C (day/night, 12 hours each, R.H 70%), plants received heat stress for four days (240 ˚Ch) at (i) seed filling ii) PM and iii) seed filling plus PM before being returned to the field until seed harvest for two consecutive seasons, 2011-12 and 2012-13. Heat stress decreased seed quality in all three treatments. In both years seed vigour was adversely affected by the heat stress, but seed germination was not. High temperature stress during seed filling produced smaller seeds but this did not occur with heat stress at PM. Seed developed at the top of the raceme was smaller and had lower germination compared with seed developed at the middle and basal raceme positions. This difference in seed quality between raceme positions became greater after heat stress. A field trial was conducted in the same two seasons with artificially created high field temperature conditions (using plastic sheet cages) during forage rape seed development. The heat stress was imposed during phase-I (seed filling to PM) and phase-II (PM to HM) and at both Phase-I+II. Heat stress during phase-I significantly reduced seed germination, vigour and seed mass, confirming the results of the controlled environment experiment. Imposition of heat stress during phase-II (after PM), however, significantly reduced seed germination and vigour but did not affect seed mass. Hourly thermal time (HTT) at a base temperature (Tb) of 25 ˚C and the number of hours that temperature remained above 25 ˚C during phase-II (from PM to HM) were significantly correlated with germination and vigour, but not seed mass. The data suggested that for a Tb of 25 ˚C, at least 100 ˚Ch before PM and 300 ˚Ch after PM were required before vigour loss occurred. The effects of high temperature during seed development were further studied at a physiological and ultrastructural level using heat stressed and non-stressed seeds from the controlled environment experiment. Both reactive oxygen species (ROS) (H2O2) and lipid peroxidation were measured. H2O2 and malondialdehyde (MDA) were both significantly higher in heat stressed seeds than in non- stressed seeds. Loss of seed vigour was associated with an accumulation of H2O2 and lipid peroxidation. H2O2 in heat stressed seeds was strongly correlated with seed vigour loss, suggesting that lipid peroxidation was not the only cause of seed deterioration. Seed vigour loss was also characterized by a marked decrease in the ROS scavenging antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities following heat stress. A significant negative effect of heat stress on the adenine nucleotides pool and adenylate energy charge (AEC) was recorded which indicated the altered metabolic system. This was mainly due to a decrease in cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP), resulting in a decrease of AEC. Electron microscopy revealed significant cellular damage in heat stressed seeds, particularly in the cell membranes and mitochondria. The decreased level of nucleotides and energy levels, and higher electrolyte leakage recorded in heat stressed seeds was associated with this structural damage. Mitochondrial ATP synthesis provides an important source of energy to complete the germination process. The mitochondrial damage in this study as a result of heat stress suggests that the mitochondria were unable to synthesize sufficient energy for the active oxidative phosphorylation required to complete successful germination.

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  • Credit accessibility: the impact of microfinance on rural Indonesian households

    Santoso, Danang Budi

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Microfinance enables rural households to accumulate assets, smooth consumption in time of economic shocks, reduce the vulnerability due to illness, drought and crop failures, and better education, health and housing for the borrower’s household. In addition, access to finance may contribute to an improvement in the social and economic position of women participation in family decisions making. Microfinance may have positive spill-over effects such that its impact surpasses the economic and social improvement of the borrower. However, there is still concern whether microfinance performance and outreach eminently reaches the poor household. This study aims to investigate the credit accessibility and significant characteristics of rural households who are users of microcredit loans versus non-users of microcredit loans. The study also surveys the welfare impact of microfinance on rural households in Indonesia. The study administered a structured questionnaire to 605 rural households in Bantul District, Yogyakarta Province in Indonesia. Binary Logistic regression is used to investigate credit accessibility of the surveyed respondents. The results reveal that age of borrowers, household income, interest rates, and loan duration are key determinants affecting credit accessibility in the surveyed area. Similarly, binary logistic regression is used to investigate characteristics of the surveyed respondents, based upon whether they used or did not use microcredit. The empirical results suggest that age, marital status and education attainment siginificantly affect characterics of clients and non-clients of microfinance. The multinomial logit model (MNL) is used to assess the welfare impacts of microcredit in term of households income, monthly expenditure and total assets of borrowers. In term of the borrowers income, the MNL shows that age of borrowers, monthly expenditure and occupation are significant factors influencing the increase in income of the borrowers after they have accessed microcredit. In term of borrower’s total assets, the MNL model reveals that more highly educated borrowers are more likely to increase their total assets after accessing microcredit. The MNL model also reveals that only expenditure per month of borrowers has a positive correlation with the increase of welfare impacts of the clients’ expenditures.

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  • The response of manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) to homogeneous and heterogeneous distribution of biosolids in soil

    Reis, Flavia Vilela Pereira

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Potentially, biosolids (sewage sludge) could be added to soil to enhance the growth of manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) for the production of honey, essential oils, and ecosystem restoration. Given that manuka is a pioneering species that is adapted to low fertility soils, it was unclear whether there would be a positive growth response to biosolids addition. I aimed to determine the effect of biosolids addition on the biomass, root morphology and elemental composition of manuka. Pots (2.5 L) and Rhizoboxes (15 x 30 x 2.5 cm) were filled with low-fertility soils from Eyrewell Forest (Lismore brown soil) and Kaikoura (sand). Biosolids from Kaikoura (10% of the total weight by mass containing 22g N/kg) were applied either homogeneously or heterogeneously to the surface of the pots and in a 5 cm vertical strip on one side of the rhizoboxes. There was also a control (no biosolids). Each treatment was replicated thrice. Manuka seedlings were grown for 12 weeks and then the biomass, root distribution and chemical composition was determined. The addition of biosolids increased the biomass in both soils. The increases in biomass were not significantly affected by the distribution of the biosolids. However, the distribution of the biomass affected root distribution, with roots proliferating in the biosolids patches in the heterogeneous treatments. In the Kaikoura sand, the addition of biosolids increased the plant concentrations of N, C, P, S, Zn, and Cd, whereas in the Eyrewell soil the biosolids increased N, Zn, Cd and Ni. In Kaikoura there were differences between homogeneous and heterogeneous treatments in plant Zn, Cu and Ni and in Eyrewell differences occurred in Zn and Cd. None of the trace element concentrations in manuka were likely to pose a risk to herbivores or ecosystems. My experiment demonstrated that manuka responds positively to the addition of biosolids and that the positive growth response was not affected by the distribution of biosolids on two soil types. Furthermore, the addition of biosolids did not cause manuka to take up unacceptable concentrations of trace elements. Future research should investigate the performance of manuka over a longer timescale and include treatments where biosolids are applied to the soil surface of existing manuka stands. Root morphology should also be investigated for deeper understanding of foraging behaviour.

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  • Evaluation of utilisation of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Programme in Central province, Kenya

    Ngugi, Catherine Njeri (2013)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background: The PMTCT HIV programme has been one of the most successful HIV preventive interventions towards HIV-free future generations. However, even though the programme is virtually effective in developed countries, many developing countries are reporting child HIV infections due to the MTCT. The programme has existed in Kenya for more than a decade, yet in 2011, 12,894children were HIV infected due to MTCT Objective: To evaluate the PMTCT programme, especially the HIV testing from the antenatal period to the postnatal period among expectant parents attending Nyeri Provincial General Hospital in Central Province, Kenya. Design: Retrospective analysis of the hospital registers. Methods: Three hospital registers were analysed for the period from July 2009 to September 2012. The registers were for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care respectively. Each register documented the utilisation of PMTCT services by the expectant parents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were produced to analyse data from the registers. Results: The PMTCT services utilisation was sub-optimal. Of the 504 expectant mothers who attended the antenatal clinic, 59.9% came once, 80.4% had their first visit in the third trimester (between weeks 28 and 40) and only 6.9% were accompanied by their partners. All the women were HIV tested in their first visit but only 12.1% were rescreened after three months, and only 3.8% had been tested prior to the current pregnancy (p=0.000). No expectant mother was tested for HIV intrapartum or postpartum. The children of the 504 mothers who were HIV tested were those whose parent/s were known to be HIV positive or who had presented to a child welfare clinic with recurring symptoms suggestive of a failing immune system. Conclusion: Public health programs need to strengthen the PMTCT and HIV prevention programmes to ensure that HIV testing preconception and in pregnancy is fully implemented and strengthened, alongside continued education of the public through community programmes and the media. To avert further horizontal and vertical transmission of HIV, there is a need to address urgently the identified missed opportunities in the PMTCT program. These programmatic challenges require health system redesign and strengthening, resource allocation, addressing research gaps and reassessing the current PMTCT policies.

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  • Disrupting the binary: a space for gender diversity

    Harris, Kathryn (2015)

    Honours Dissertation thesis
    University of Otago

    It is by now almost self-­‐evident that binary models of the highly nuanced concept of gender are at best incomplete, and limit understanding of the diversity of gender expression. In this work, I summarise and critique standard models of gender. I discuss three broad approaches to gender: biological, social and biosocial. A central problem inherent in these approaches is that they almost always revert to a form of binary discourse — even as they critique such an approach — because the fundamental understanding of gender is rooted in discrete classifications. Drawing on theoretical discourse from prominent theorists, I explore an alternative approach to gender classifications and experiences. I suggest that new approaches and alternate models are needed to express ideas and data of gender more inclusively and with greater accuracy. This work includes my research and discussion of a gender spectrum as represented by a colour-­‐wheel. I introduce the Colour-­‐ Wheel of Gender Diversity and its practical applications. Exploration of diversity and its implications in both the personal realm and the social are essential in the quest to move towards ideals of fairness and equality. I believe that it is important to problem-­‐solve issues of non-­‐representation that cause oppression in our society and to enable legitimate understandings of a continuum of gendered realities.

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  • Touchable: Adapting a Haptic Feedback Glove for Use in Rehabilitation Contexts

    Foottit, Jacques

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    With the increasing miniaturisation of computing and sensor technology, it is becoming common for electronics of all kinds to be integrated into clothing and other wearable items. Motion sensing technologies in particular have been used for a variety of consumer fitness and virtual reality applications for able-bodied people. This research explores the potential for affordable motion capture and haptic feedback technologies to be utilised in a rehabilitation context, with a specific focus on the hand. An iterative development process was used to adapt and improve an existing prototype haptic feedback glove in response to the unique challenges facing wearable device users in a rehabilitation context. Collaboration with physiotherapists provided valuable feedback throughout the design process. The result is a significantly different prototype device with major design improvements, and insights into how iterative development processes can be utilised for hardware development.

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