27,161 results for Thesis

  • The Flavonoid Profile of New Zealand Manuka Honey

    Deadman, Benjamin Jade (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Flavonoids are a class of natural products derived from plants which are incorporated into honeys through propolis, nectar and pollen. Research has shown that many honeys possess characteristic flavonoid profiles which can be used as markers for the geographical and floral origin of honey. The objective of this study has been to determine the flavonoid profile of New Zealand manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey, a honey which is internationally recognised for its unique medicinal properties. While all honeys are antibacterial due to the production of peroxides, manuka is unique because it exhibits an additional non-peroxide antibacterial activity due to high levels of methylglyoxal. The established extraction method, which utilises Amberlite XAD-2 resin to extract phenolics from honey, has been modified to permit extraction of phenolics from samples as small as five grams, with no measurable loss of extraction reproducibility. This development opens up a much larger collection of honey samples to flavonoid profiling. Measurement of the recovery rates for this extraction method has been further developed in this study in an attempt to account for the matrix effects of the high carbohydrate and phenolic acid content, relative to the flavonoids, of honey. This was achieved by extraction of flavonoid standards from an artificial honey matrix. The recovery rates of 10 6%, 16 7% and 19 9% for quercetin, chrysin and kaempferol respectively, were significantly lower than rates (28-60%) measured using the accepted procedure of extracting flavonoids from a simple solution. However, it should be noted that the recovery rates measured for extraction from solution were lower than those reported by other research groups. This has been partly attributed to an additional filtration step using a sacrificial HPLC column which was implemented to protect the analytical HPLC system from an unknown contaminant in the phenolic extracts. Having evaluated the reproducibility and reliability of the modified extraction method, it was then applied to the analysis of 31 manuka honeys and 8 other non-manuka honeys from New Zealand. The results have shown that the honeys studied have a common flavonoid profile consisting mainly of the flavanone pinocembrin and the dihydroflavonol pinobanksin. These flavonoids are derived from propolis and are a common feature of honeys from temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The manuka honeys analysed had total flavonoid content ranging between 0.59-2.24mg/100g of honey, with an average level of 1.16 0.16mg per 100g of honey. The flavonoid profile of these samples consisted mainly of pinobanksin (0.27 0.04mg/100g honey), pinocembrin (0.17 0.02mg/100g honey), luteolin (0.14 0.02mg/100g honey) and chrysin (0.13 0.02mg/100g honey), together accounting for 61% of the total flavonoid content. Manuka honey was distinguishable from the other honeys studied by its high total flavonoid content, high luteolin content (greater than 0.05mg/100g honey) and high levels of an unidentified (unknown compound 01) which was found to elute with the flavonoids on HPLC but did not appear to be a flavonoid from its UV spectrum. Statistical analysis showed that a positive correlation existed between the levels of unknown compound 01 in manuka honeys and their non-peroxide antibacterial activity. A similar correlation was also observed for luteolin. The progress of this research has been hampered by the limited range of flavonoid standards available for comparison with HPLC chromatogram peaks. A total of eight flavonoids were found in manuka honey, and a further seven in the non-manuka honeys, which did not coincide with any of the flavonoid standards available. Two of unknown flavonoids were subsequently extracted from fifteen kilograms of manuka honey using Amberlite XAD-2 resin and liquid-liquid extraction, and isolated by a combination of Sephadex-LH20 column chromatography and HPLC. Characterisation of these flavonoids was achieved using a combination of UV absorption spectroscopy, 1H, 13C and HMBC NMR spectroscopy, and LDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The isolated flavonoids were identified as pinobanksin and 8-methoxykaempferol, both flavonoids which have been previously found in honeys.

    View record details
  • Flow Cytometric Enumeration of the Blood Cells of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and New Zealand Freshwater Crayfish (Paranephrops planifrons)

    Taylor, Sean Charles (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The aim of this study was to develop flow cytometric (FC) methods to enumerate rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) whole blood cells and New Zealand freshwater crayfish (Paranephrops planifrons) haemocytes as non-lethal endpoints in the evaluation of physiological status. In the FC method development for rainbow trout, heparin was found to be superior to neutralised EDTA as a blood anticoagulant, because the use of EDTA resulted in significant lysis and shrinkage of erythrocytes. Leishman's-Giemsa and May Grunwald-Giemsa yielded comparable differential staining of leukocytes, and were superior to Wright-Giemsa staining. Morphological ambiguity between thrombocytes and lymphocytes in smears could not be resolved using Romanowsky or cytochemical staining. Use of FC was demonstrated to be a rapid, more accurate alternative to manual total cell counting procedures. Phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) was found to be superior to IsoTon II as a FC sheath fluid; IsoTon II induced lysis of erythrocytes. Characterisation of fish blood cell types and differentiation of leukocytes using FC could be achieved using 50 nM concentrations of the fluorescent lipophilic dye dihexyloxacarbocyanine iodide (DiOC6(3)), but inconsistent fluorescent behaviour exhibited by thrombocytes between specimens prevented clear resolution of these cells from erythrocytes and lymphocytes. Higher concentrations of DiOC6(3) did not enhance resolution and became cytotoxic, particularly to leukocytes. Resolution between thrombocytes and lymphocytes could only be achieved with a fluorescent-labelled thrombocyte monoclonal antibody (mAb). The results suggest that the application of FC and mAb to fish blood cells is the most accurate approach to differential counting of leukocytes. The second FC method objectively characterised and enumerated New Zealand freshwater crayfish haemocytes. Haemocyte populations were isolated by FC sorting based on differential light scatter properties, followed by morphological characterisation by light microscopy and software image analysis. Cells were identified as hyaline, semi-granular and granular haemocytes based on established invertebrate haemocyte classification. A characteristic decrease in nuclear size and increase in granularity between the hyaline and granular cells, and the eccentric location of nuclei in granular cells were also observed. The granulocyte subpopulations were observed to possess varying degrees of granularity. The developed methodology was used to perform total and differential haemocyte counts from three lake crayfish populations and between wild and captive specimens. Differences in total and differential haemocyte counts were not observed between wild populations. However, specimens held in captivity for 14 d exhibited a significant 63% reduction in total haemocyte count, while the relative haemocyte proportions remained the same. These results demonstrate the utility of this method for the investigation of sub-acute stressor effects in selected decapod crustacea.

    View record details
  • How Do You Sleep At Night? Investigating media representations and victim legitimacy of homeless individuals in the New Zealand news media

    Mueller, Sally (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Homelessness is a complex social issue affecting in excess of one billion people around the world. Despite varying definitions and cultural variations, key issues associated with homelessness appear to be similar across countries. Although New Zealand was once a country with high home ownership, recent governmental and welfare changes have contributed to a growing homeless population. Since contact between housed and homeless individuals is often limited, media coverage about the issue plays a vital role in the dissemination and distribution of information about homelessness and affected individuals. Although there are numerous studies analysing the portrayal of homeless individuals in overseas media, there is a distinct lack of comparable New Zealand based research. This study set out to investigate media representations and victim legitimacy of homeless individuals in the New Zealand news media, with a particular focus on how media representations and characterisations of homeless individuals may affect sympathy for them. This research encompasses both an overarching quantitative analysis of general reporting trends evident in the New Zealand news media (1995 - 2007), as well as an in-depth qualitative study of two particular case studies, namely media coverage following the murder of two homeless women, in order to further explore how sympathy can be supported or minimised, specifically during sad times. Findings from the content analysis reveal that homeless people are predominantly portrayed as negative stereotypes. Most were identified as rough sleepers, often depicted drinking in parks and socialising in public spaces. Homeless people rarely address audiences, as stories were mediated by professionals, journalists and service providers. Although there were aspects of the coverage that promoted a sympathetic understanding of the issue and affected individuals and moved beyond narrow characterisations and discussions of homelessness, the majority supported the typecasting of rough sleepers which resulted in a dichotomous, almost voyeuristic relationship between housed and homeless individuals. All in all, the New Zealand coverage appears unsympathetic as it typecasts individuals and perpetuates the 'othering' of homeless individuals The violent death of two homeless women was expected to yield very sympathetic coverage and tragic storylines. The first victim, Betty Marusich, was a 69-year old homeless widow whose decomposed body is found in the Auckland Domain. The second victim was Sheryl Brown, a 45-year old homeless mother of three. Despite initial assumptions, the analysis revealed little sympathy for either victim. Instead a negative reporting framework supported by typecast terminology, reporting techniques, derogatory characterisations and implied blameworthiness, challenged each woman's victim status. Ultimately, this chapter questions whether either woman was ever considered a true victim deserving of public sympathy at all. The study concludes with a discussion about the findings and how typecast representations, narrow characterisations, and marginal coverage can influence perception about the importance placed on, and extent of homelessness in New Zealand. Some suggestions for further research are discussed, as are recommendations to make media coverage more inclusive and less dichotomous in order to stress that homeless people are no different to housed individuals, but are merely individuals without suitable and affordable housing.

    View record details
  • Are zooplankton invasions in constructed waters facilitated by simple communities?

    Parkes, Samantha Maree (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The invasion of non-indigenous species is considered to be one of the leading causes of biodiversity loss globally. My research aimed to determine if constructed water bodies (e.g., water supply reservoirs, dams and ponds) were invaded by zooplankton with greater ease than natural water bodies, and whether this was due to a lower biodiversity, and therefore lower 'biotic resistance', in constructed water bodies. Sediment cores were collected from a cross-section of 46 lakes, ponds and reservoirs (23 natural and 23 constructed) throughout the North Island, New Zealand. Diapausing zooplankton eggs were separated from the sediments and hatched to assess species composition and richness. In addition, the distributions of non-indigenous zooplankton were examined to determine if they occurred more frequently in constructed water bodies than in natural ones. Species composition results showed that natural water body zooplankton communities appeared to consist mainly of a core group of truly planktonic species. However, the species assemblages of constructed water bodies were more varied, comprising of a number of littoral and benthic species, and a large number of species that were recorded from only a single water body. A canonical correspondence analysis indicated that Trophic Level Index explained a significant amount of variation in zooplankton community composition of natural waters (p = 0.002). Distance to nearest water body and number of water bodies within a 20 km radius explained significant amounts of variation in community composition of constructed water bodies (p = 0.040 and 0.038 respectively). Average species richness was slightly higher for natural water bodies than constructed water bodies (18.47 and 15.05 respectively), although overall there was a lot of variation for both natural and constructed water body datasets. A stepwise linear regression indicated that latitude and approximate maximum depth of water body were significant predictors of natural water body species richness (p = 0.002 and 0.016 respectively). However, no significant predictors of species richness were elucidated for constructed water bodies. The non-indigenous calanoid copepods Sinodiaptomus valkanovi and Boeckella minuta were only found in constructed water bodies. However, the non-indigenous cladoceran Daphnia galeata was recorded in both natural and constructed water bodies. The non-indigenous calanoid copepods are more likely to establish populations in constructed water bodies due to the absence of key species (i.e. native calanoid copepods), whose presence in natural waters seemingly provides 'biotic resistance'. The invasion success of D. galeata in constructed and natural waters may be attributed to the absence of a superior competitor, as native Daphnia populations, for example, are rare in the North Island. My results suggest that species richness may not be as important as species composition in influencing the ease with which non-indigenous species invade constructed water bodies. The core group of species found in natural water bodies are likely to be better adapted to pelagic conditions, and therefore better at resisting invaders, than the more varied constructed water body assemblages.

    View record details
  • Optimising the effectiveness of sediments retention ponds for Waikato soil materials

    Fazli, Bashirah Mohd (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Current Waikato sediment retention pond design is based on guidelines developed by the Auckland Regional Council. As soils in the Auckland and Waikato Regions are different, there is a need to investigate the effectiveness of sediment retention ponds in retaining sediments from Waikato soil materials. The objectives of this study were to: i) do a comparison between pipette, hydrometer and lasersizer methods for determining soil particle size and to characterise the sand, silt and clay in a range of Waikato soil materials, ii) evaluate turbidity and suspended solid concentration between the inlet and outlet of sediment retention ponds, and iii) investigate the use of chemical treatment (flocculants) in assisting sediment settling. Ten samples representing a range of Waikato soil materials were collected. Particle size was determined using hydrometer, pipette and lasersizer analysis. The pipette and hydrometer gave similar results. Lasersizer analyses were similar to pipette-hydrometer analyses for six samples. The remaining four samples analysed by lasersizer did not give a close agreement to conventional methods. However, error bars showed that between-sample variability was not large. The pipette was found to be the most reliable method for determination of particle size, however the lasersizer gave fast measurements which were easily repeatable. The soil texture of the ten Waikato soil materials tested ranged from sand to clay. A rain gauge connected to an autowater sampler was installed at the inlet of two sediment retention ponds, one at SH1 in Piarere and the other at a quarry in Ngaruawahia. Water samples were collected when rainfall reached 2mm in the previous 30 minute period. Samples were analysed for turbidity and suspended solids. The sediment retention ponds at both sites were effective, reducing suspended solids and turbidity by at least 94%. Water samples collected at Piarere showed a 94% reduction in turbidity (from 558.68 NTU to 35.27NTU) and a 97% declination in suspended solids concentrations (from 2365.63mg/L to 78.41mg/L). Results from water samples collected at Ngaruawahia demonstrated a 97% reduction in turbidity (from 491.33 NTU to 14.46 NTU) and a 95% drop in suspended solids concentration (from 210.43 mg/L to 9.5 mg/L). Flocculants (Polyaluminium Chloride, PAC) were being used at the sediment retention pond at Ngaruawahia. Further investigation into the effectiveness of flocculants in removing sediments from the water column found that samples 1 and 2 collected from the Ngaruawahia study site and allophanic soil materials do not require treatment with flocculants. The recommended dose of 8 ppm/litre of PAC was sufficient to treat sediment runoff without lowering pH level to a point that might induce aluminium toxicity in aquatic life of downstream rivers and streams for Ngaruawahia 3 and coarse materials of Hinuera Formation. PAC doses of 2.7ppm in the Hamilton Ash materials and 5.3 ppm in Hinuera Formation (fine materials) were sufficient to ensure flocculation. For the Piarere soil materials an 8 ppm PAC dose gave reasonable flocculation and 10.7 ppm PAC further reduced the turbidity after 24 hours.

    View record details
  • Carbon dynamics of a dairy pasture: annual balance and impact of cultivation

    Wallace, Dirk Fraser (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Maintenance of soil carbon (C) content is important because a relatively small percentage change in the global soil C store has the potential to cause a large change in atmospheric CO₂ concentration. Losses of soil C can also lead to a decline in soil quality and its capacity to be productive and carry out other services such as the filtering of pollutants. Globally, research on soil C dynamics has largely focused on forests, croplands and natural grasslands, while intensively grazed pasture has received much less attention. In New Zealand, the dynamics of soil C content and C cycling in intensively grazed dairy systems are poorly understood but large losses of soil C (1 t C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹) have recently been reported for grazed dairy pastures. The objective of this research was to build on current knowledge of the C balance of intensively grazed dairy farm systems. To achieve this objective, net ecosystem CO₂ exchange (NEE) and water use efficiency (WUE) were measured over intensively grazed dairy pasture using eddy covariance from 15 December 2007 to 15 December 2009. Net ecosystem carbon balances (NECB) were then calculated for 2008 & 2009 from NEE measurements combined with measurements and estimates of C imports (feed) and C exports (milk, silage, methane). A further objective was to determine the impact of periodic cultivation of contrasting soils on the C balance of a dairy farm. To achieve this objective, measurements of soil CO₂ emissions were made using the closed chamber technique following the cultivation of three paddocks of Horotiu soil (Typic Orthic Allophanic) and three paddocks of Te Kowhai soil (Typic Orthic Gley). Annual NEE of the farm was -1,212 ± 500 kg C ha⁻¹ for 2008 and -2,280 ± 500 kg C ha⁻¹ for 2009. Including imports and exports of C to the farm resulted in an annual NECB of -199 ± 500 kg C ha⁻¹ and -1,014 ± 500 kg C ha⁻¹ for 2008 and 2009, respectively. Applied uncertainty is at 90% confidence bound and derived from previous studies reported in the literature. The site was a net sink of C during both 2008 and 2009 in agreement with EC studies performed over grasslands in Europe. The large difference in NEE and NECB between years was due to a drought in 2008, when the site was a C source for the first four months of this year. Average daily water use efficiency (WUE) for 2008 (4 g C kg⁻¹H₂O) and 2009 (4.2 g C kg⁻¹ H₂O) were not substantially different between years and agreed with international field and laboratory studies for pasture. Soil CO₂ loss following cultivation was measured using the closed chamber technique. During the period of cultivation photosynthesis ceased, and potential C input (NEE) to pasture during this time was estimated at -750 kg C ha⁻¹from the adjacent EC study site. To calculate the maximum net soil CO₂₋C loss the potential C input from photosynthesis (NEE) must be added to measured CO₂ emissions. Total soil C loss from the Te Kowhai was between 2,880 kg C ha⁻¹ (CO₂ flux only) and 3,742 kg C ha⁻¹ (CO₂ flux + NEE) while the Horotiu soil lost between 2,082 kg C ha⁻¹(CO₂ flux only) and 2,944 kg C ha⁻¹ (CO₂ flux + NEE). The significant difference in C loss between the two soils was likely a result of their contrasting clay mineralogy and drainage. The Horotiu soil contains allophanic clays with a very high specific surface area, which protects soil C from decomposition. Additionally, poorly drained soils such as the Te Kowhai tend to lose more C following cultivation due to aeration caused by cultivation which increases oxygen penetration into the soil and accelerates decomposition of soil C. Based on these results this grazed pasture was a net sink of C for 2008 and 2009 which is in contrast to the measured decline of 1 t C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ from New Zealand’s flat to rolling dairy pastures. Cultivation of dairy pasture soil resulted in net C losses, however, these losses were not large enough to account for the measured decline in soil C from New Zealand’s flat to rolling dairy pastures. Further research is required to investigate long term soil C recovery following initial cultivation of pasture in order to be confident of this conclusion.

    View record details
  • Interspecific competitive interactions between Rattus norvegicus and R. rattus

    Foster, Stacey Patricia (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Interspecific competition is observed when one species experiences reduced survivorship or fecundity, due to another controlling access to resources either through being superior at harvesting a shared resource (exploitation competition), or physically preventing the other species from accessing the resource, either through territory defence, or aggressive behaviour (interference competition). The aim of this project was to investigate the idea that a balance of exploitation competition and interference competition working together contributes to governing the current distribution of ship rats and Norway rats in New Zealand. The ship rat is the most abundant species, being widespread in native forest, while the Norway rat is largely restricted to farm buildings, rubbish tips, riparian sites and wharves. Chapter Two aimed to test the null hypothesis that there are no differences in the ability of the two species to harvest resources above the ground in native forest. An artificial forest was created with stands of various heights, representing small trees; with inter connecting ropes of various widths to represent branches rats might encounter in the forest. Individual rats were placed in the artificial forest and their activity recorded during the night. As expected, ship rats were significantly faster climbing up and down all the stands, as well as being faster traversing the various ropes. They also utilised the artificial forest much more than Norway rats. This ability of the ship rat to utilise this habitat may give them advantages in exploitation competition. Chapter Three aimed to test which species is superior at inference competition, when they meet on the ground. This was done using two methods: (1) inter- and intra- specific staged encounters in a small box, with a rat at each end, separated by a partition, with the rats behaviour remotely recorded, and (2) placement of the scent of the opposite species or the actual animal in a self contained cage somewhere within the artificial forest, which was used in the previous chapter. Ship rats appeared to be disturbed by the presence of Norway rats in the artificial forest, but they ignored displays of aggressive behaviour exhibited by the Norway rats during the staged encounters. Chapter Four describes an attempt to validate the results found in Chapters Two and Three in the wild, under natural conditions. A 480 metre long trap line, with 17 trap stations, 30 metres apart was placed on Rahui Island, Lake Waikareiti. Each station consisted of two Victor snap traps with covers, one on the ground and one 2.0 metres above the ground on a platform, with seven trapping nights. Ship rats were trapped on the forest floor and 2.0 metres above the ground, while only one Norway rat was trapped, on the forest floor. Chapter Five summarises the results from the previous chapters and also outlines possible avenues for future research in this area. The results described in this thesis are consistent with the prediction that the distribution of both species in New Zealand is governed by shifting advantages of exploitation competition and interference competition, mediated by habitat.

    View record details
  • Hydrodynamic modelling for mangrove afforestation at Haji Dorani, west coast peninsular Malaysia

    Awang, Nor Aslinda binti (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Following the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster of 2004, which increased recognition of the importance of mangal for coastal protection, the Malaysian Government changed its‟ Policy in relation to mangrove and coastal vegetation. Since 2005, considerable effort had been made to establish mangroves in areas affected by the tsunami and rapid coastal development. Mangrove growth is affected by numerous coastal processes such as tides, waves, currents, the type of sediment, nutrient availability, and sediment erosion, transport and deposition. Therefore, a careful assessment of the multiple factors is necessary to facilitate successful replanting. In this thesis, a study has been carried out to determine whether the tidal flats at Sungai Haji Dorani are suitable for mangrove afforestation. The specific objectives are to establish tidal current velocities and flow patterns from hydrodynamic modelling in order to identify the likely sediment transport pathways, and investigate wave shoaling and their role in sediment transport. Sungai Haji Dorani is a low gradient muddy shoreline, consisting predominantly of silt and clay, over which occurs a fluid mud layer of about 0.3-0.5 m thick. There are three river sources of predominantly fine sediment, namely: Bernam, Haji Dorani and Selangor rivers. The existing mangal belt is very narrow (~20 m width) in the study area, and there is no natural mangrove regeneration to replace mangroves lost due to the tsunami and coastal development. Simulations of tides, currents and waves were carried out using the 3DD hydraulic modelling suites. Results were calibrated and validated against measured conditions to facilitate an accurate representation of the study area, and provide a high level of confidence in the model outcomes. The calibrated models were used to simulate the impact of a proposed mangrove replanting project on waves, currents and sediment transport pathways. Modelling results indicate that without mangroves, the average velocity over Haji Dorani is 0.14 ms-1 and peak velocities varied from 0.1-0.4 ms-1, which is high enough to transport fine sediments. The wave model predicted that at highest offshore spring tide and during storm conditions, waves of 0.2-2.0 m are transformed into 0.2-1.0 m high waves at the Haji Dorani shoreline, which will initiate fluidization of the bed sediment. These high waves, combined with tidal currents, can entrain the bed and transport sediment away. Results from the POL3DD Particle Tracking Model indicate little sediment is deposited close to the Haji Dorani shore and any deposited would not permanently consolidate. High waves will erode the bed and re-suspend the sediment while strong tidal currents will transport it into deeper waters offshore. Modelling of simulated mangrove replanting suggests a large reduction in current velocities and storm wave heights due to the increased friction provided by the mangrove roots and trunks. The particle tracking model shows that fine sediment from the Bernam and Haji Dorani rivers will accumulate along the adjacent coasts in response to the reduced transport capability and reduced potential to re-suspend sediment. These sediments will be trapped by the mangal, which may result in the long term build-up of islands around the trees. Increased sedimentation will also provide habitat and nutrients for mangroves to reproduce and regenerate new trees naturally. At the same time, the mangrove trees will provide nutrients and shelter for marine life and terrestrial animals, as well as behave as a wave breaker, reducing incoming wave heights and tidal currents and thereby protecting the coast from high waves and storm surge.

    View record details
  • Exploring travel and spirituality: The role of travel in facilitating life purpose and meaning within the lives of individuals

    Willson, Gregory Brian (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis is a phenomenological study of individuals who engaged in tours provided by Hands Up Holidays, a tour operator marketing their travel as ‘spiritual’. Hands Up Holidays views spirituality as being a broader concept than religion and attracts both religious and non-religious individuals who are seeking personally meaningful experiences. With the exception of the religious tourism literature, there is a paucity of research exploring ‘spirituality’ within a tourism framework and, specifically, what role travel plays in the search for meaning and life purpose within the lives of individuals. Spirituality is presented by scholars as conceptually representing every individual’s personal search for meaning in life; in this way, although closely related, it is conceptually different from religion; while every person is argued to be spiritual, only some are religious. The thesis aims to explore spirituality and travel; specifically, the role of travel in facilitating life purpose and meaning in the lives of individuals. To inform this study, the thesis takes a journey through a range of conceptualisations and thinking about spirituality amongst scholars. This journey reveals that each description of spirituality comprises three core constructs, these being that spirituality involves a search for meaning and life purpose, transcendence and connectedness in life. This thesis thus bases its conceptual platform on these three core constructs of spirituality. Through the analysis of 11 in-depth individual research portraits, research participants give their voice within this thesis; in addition to recounting their travel experience with Hands Up Holidays, individuals write themselves into the research in a manner that held significant personal meaning to oneself, such as through sharing one’s reflective stories, photographs and/or diaries. Key research findings were drawn from thematic analysis of each of the 11 in-depth research portraits and from my personal reflections recorded throughout the research process. Four themes arose from thematic analysis. They are titled, ‘spirituality as the essence of being human,’ ‘spirituality experienced subjectively and objectively,’ ‘life-defining moments,’ and ‘search for meaning fuelled by modern frustrations’. Analysis of these themes yielded five main findings. Firstly, each person could be conceptually considered ‘spiritual’; this has ramifications for how ‘spiritual tourism’ is conceptualised. Secondly, individuals do not separate their spirituality from their travel experiences (that is, their travel experiences are filtered through how they derive meaning and purpose in their life); this highlights the need for the travel experience to be explored within the wider context of an individual’s life. Thirdly, an individual’s spirituality is expressed subjectively and objectively. Fourthly, each individual experienced ‘life-defining’ moments, which influenced how one derives life meaning and the personal meaning one imbues onto one’s travel experiences. Fifthly, certain individuals experienced significant frustration with contemporary, primarily Western World issues, that influenced one’s travel motivations and experiences. Future research from different contexts will advance the understanding of the individual traveller that is provided through this thesis. This thesis concludes by purporting that spirituality is a worthwhile lens through which to explore the personal meaning religious and non-religious individuals derive from their travel experiences.

    View record details
  • Coastal Storm Activity along the Eastern North Island of New Zealand - East Cape to Wellington

    Dunn, Amber Susan (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Coastal storm activity for the eastern North Island, between East Cape and Wellington, has been quantified from a meteorological perspective through the use of cyclone tracks and extreme winds and from an oceanographic perspective by using hindcast wave information. It has culminated in the production of a high quality, digital coastal storm database for the eastern North Island. Together, this information provides a new understanding of coastal storm behaviour for the eastern North Island. A regional database of historical coastal storms along the eastern North Island between 1930 and 2005 (75 years) is now available in digital format. Coastal storms were identified as bouts of strong winds (greater than or equal to 10.5 m/s) from long-term local wind records from 1962 to 2005, and prior to this period, coastal storms were qualitatively recognised as any event leading to coastal shipping disruptions/delays, large wave conditions along the coast, episodes of coastal erosion and strong onshore wind periods. This digital database consists of five informative components that include storm meteorology, storm oceanography, impacts and damages, storm photo’s and images, and data sources. It has identified a set of five storm types for the eastern North Island consisting of Trough/Ridges, East Coast Lows, Subtropical Lows, Tasman Sea Lows, and Cyclone-Anticyclone pair. The two dominant types are Trough/Ridge and East Coast Low, with the Trough pattern involving weather systems primarily from the southern ocean, whilst East Coast Lows involve large cyclones off the coast that can be distantly generated (from the Tasman Sea or subtropics) or locally generated around NZ from southern ocean troughs. The most intense coastal storms off the eastern North Island are East Coast Lows involving cyclones from the subtropics. These storm events reveal blocking-type anticyclones east of the Chatham Islands play a vital role in coastal storm activity by steering cyclones southward towards NZ and then blocking any eastward movements so that cyclones become slow-moving off the east coast. These factors increase the intensity of pressure gradients directly over eastern NZ. The Gisborne region, for the 1962-1991 period (30 years), had an annual average of three coastal storms and displays peak activity in September. These storms are overwhelming from the south and southeast. A longer dataset of local winds at Wellington, spanning 1962-2005 (44 years), produced an annual average frequency of 9 coastal storms per year. The monthly distribution revealed peak storm activity in June and heightened activity between May and August. Both short-lived, high intensity storms (winds greater than or equal to 14.5 m/s for at least 12 hours) and long-lived, lower intensity storms (winds greater than or equal to 10.5m/s for at least 24 hours) were identified for the Wellington region. Approximately 70% of these coastal storms persisted for up to two days duration and are predominately from the south and southwest. Furthermore, the more exposed nature and steep terrain surrounding Wellington means a greater likelihood of higher intensity coastal storms compared to the Gisborne region. Strong cyclonic systems in the southwest Pacific cluster in the central Tasman Sea and east of the Chatham Islands in all seasons and are most frequent in winter. It is during winter that a clear frequency maximum is spotted over North Cape and appears to be related to the presence of slow-moving cyclones rather than high counts of discrete systems. Strong cyclones tend to form in the western Tasman Sea, in the subtropics near 22-23S, and near North Cape. This local formation off North Cape could be related to the Tasman front and North Cape eddy which create warm sea surface temperature anomalies. The complete life cycle of all strong cyclones shows formation, intensification and maturity in the western-central Tasman Sea, and therefore, a large proportion of these cyclones approaching NZ are weakening systems. However, local generation and intensification near North Cape and the Chatham Islands ensures strong cyclones continue to influence eastern NZ, and further indicates weakened Tasman Sea cyclones can drive coastal storm events through interactions with ridges and high pressure systems. Strong cyclones are most frequent around NZ in August when an average of 4-5 systems per month occurs. Extreme onshore winds off the eastern coast of NZ consist principally of winds from the southwest and south with a single high latitude frequency maximum near the dateline. These winds are generated from southern ocean cyclonic activity and their northward-extending troughs that pass over NZ, and their spread onto eastern NZ means they likely represent intense coastal storm events. Southeast, east and northeast winds rarely reach up to and beyond 20 m.s-1 over the seas to the east of NZ and generally cluster north of 40-45S indicating both subtropical and higher midlatitude source mechanisms. Extreme southeast winds are generated by the eastern flanks of large anticyclones that occupy the western Tasman Sea or large anticyclones south of the Chatham Islands. The principal frequency maximum of east and northeast winds is remote from NZ appearing near 165°W, and represent distant generation areas for large swell events (rather than coastal storm activity). These winds that occur over northern NZ are associated with a Tasman Sea or subtropical cyclone off North Cape in combination with a large anticyclone or ridge over/or east of the South Island. In contrast, the distant core for eastward of NZ are generated off the backs of large anticyclones with a trough or cyclone on its northern flank. The deep-water wave climate off the eastern North Island is dominated by waves from the south. Between 9 and 13 large wave events occur each year between East Cape and Wellington and are most likely in the months of May, June and July. In contrast, large storm waves from the southeast, east and northeast have annual average frequencies of 1-3 events. The Gisborne coast was found to be the most exposed with large deep-water waves (greater than or equal to 3m) coming from the northeast through to the southwest. However, waves from the south and southwest are the largest and most persistent. The meteorology creating these waves are southern ocean troughs whilst the less frequent waves from the easterly quarter involve low pressure systems east or northeast of NZ. The different proxies for studying coastal storms all have shortfalls and arrive at different levels of coastal storm activity. It is suggested here that an optimal mix of these proxies can be used to identify damaging coastal storms along the eastern North Island.

    View record details
  • Explorations of structure and choice in taxing capital gains: New Zealand tax experts' perspectives

    Cheng, Alvin Man Hung (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study explores the key issues, aspects, and attributes concerning capital gains tax (CGT) to enable the formulation of policy guidelines that might be used if a CGT were considered in New Zealand. It contends that the development of the New Zealand’s policy on taxing capital gains has continued in a somewhat ad hoc and inconsistent fashion. The lack of a uniform approach to capital gains taxation has resulted in detailed, but complex, legislation which leads to “policy inconsistencies and unintended incentives built into the tax structure” (Oliver, 2001, pp. 80 – 81). The study bridges the divide between theoretical analysis of CGT and implementation issues on operating a CGT. It attempts to address one primary research question and an associated secondary question. The primary research question is: should capital gains be taxed more comprehensively than at present? As a start, it examines the two important issues surrounding income definition and the capital/income distinction. In this regard, the research first attempts to identify the definition(s) of capital gains from the New Zealand perspective(s). This is followed by investigating the key areas of the tax system in order to seek the best way of taxing capital gains. This study also attempts to address the secondary research question, i.e., why (or why not) do the tax experts favour (or oppose) a comprehensive CGT? In this respect, this study identifies 23 factors/issues that are related to the tax experts’ attitudes towards a particular form of a CGT model (i.e., current hybrid approach, a realisation-based CGT or an accrual-based CGT). A mixed-methods design has been adopted in this study involving both a quantitative (survey) and a qualitative (interview) method in analysing the data to determine the tax experts’ overall perceptions of a CGT in New Zealand and the CGT adoption factors which influenced them. One important finding of the comparative analyses was that all tax experts generally agreed that the lack of a comprehensive CGT could provide more significant tax planning opportunities. However, many tax experts did not support the comprehensive income concept as they disagreed with the benefits derived from the gains in horizontal equity through adopting a CGT. This study has identified several important policy issues and reviewed their implication for the adoption of a CGT in New Zealand. The finding of the study revealed that the tax experts strongly supported the exemption of the gains on disposal of a taxpayer’s main residence and the tax preference for inflation adjustment. Another important policy issue is the implementation of an accrual-based CGT. Most tax experts considered a realisation-based CGT would be better than an accrual one. In particular, they were concerned about the liquidity problems and the compliance costs involved in an accrual-based CGT regime i.e., the annual valuation of all assets. These findings represent a first step towards a theoretical CGT framework. It is hoped that the knowledge gained in this study would give a greater understanding into the practical decision-making process that could result in a better public acceptance for a tax reform.

    View record details
  • Pacific Consumer Acculturation in New Zealand: Understanding the dynamics of consumption using video diaries

    Brown, Charis (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    New Zealand, the land of milk and honey, is the „dream‟ of many Pacific people. Expectations of New Zealand were high as Pacific people dreamt of „the better life‟ from migrated family members who retold their experiences confirming their version of life in New Zealand. Many Pacific migrants came with the intention of improving the lives of their families and for themselves. Positioned within the situational context of understanding Pacific migrants isolated from their culture, this thesis aims to understand how island-born Pacific people acculturate to New Zealand society as consumers. The research question centers on understanding how Pacific people living in New Zealand experience consumer acculturation. This research founded on a critical ethnographic stance addresses traditionally unbalanced power relations between researcher and participant and ensures participants are in control of their involvement in the study. Video diaries are used to capture routine, daily experiences of Pacific consumers. Participants narrated and reflected on their lives in New Zealand and considered how this differed from their lives in the islands. Video diaries were conducted with nine participants from two cities in New Zealand; Hamilton and Dunedin. Participants are from; Samoa (3), Tonga (2), Fiji (3) and Cook Islands (1). Each participant is tasked with recording aspects of their lives for the duration of 6 to 8 weeks, meeting regularly with the researcher to discuss progress, change tapes, and, most importantly build a relationship. Upon completion of the diary fieldwork stage, the researcher and participant meet for a final interview to collaborate on themes and clarify any issues outstanding. Participant narratives are expressed within five storylines: premigration expectations; change of the collective; becoming an individual; consumption desires; and, cultural maintenance. These storylines explore themes surrounding the consumer acculturation process in New Zealand. They illustrate that the reality of life in New Zealand varies considerably from participants‟ initial expectations. Participants acknowledged that they needed to become more independent and take on more individualistic values to fit into their new environment. Participants attempted to maintain aspects of their culture, in particular, the "circle of giving" through obligation. However, this was not always possible. Consumer acculturation appeared throughout the everyday experiences of participants. This included; in public and private situations, in the home, work and at social occasions. Individual adaptation of consumption values from Pacific to Western pervaded all areas of participant lives. By looking at contemporary Pacific consumption patterns we learn that there is similarity to previous patterns of Western consumption. Consumption feeds the desires of many Pacific people to want more, have more, own more and replaces more traditional values like community ownership and reciprocity. A process of consumer acculturation developed from these understandings, highlights the movement of participants as they graduate to-and-from different phases of the process, i.e., from the dream, to the reality of life in New Zealand. Understanding individual journeys of Pacific consumers highlights the acculturation processes that Pacific people go through to merge into New Zealand society. Through this insight, the meaning of consumption is considered and in turn how this translates to the wider culture, both in New Zealand and in the Pacific. Through understanding these consumption meanings and experiences, we consider ways to alleviate negative consumer acculturative experience. The bigger picture brings us back to questioning the relevance and structure of a consumer lifestyle. Within a New Zealand context, Pacific consumers would benefit from the integration of their core values into their daily lives and the embracing of their value system by wider societal structures. Seeking solutions from collective methods would encourage the retention of cultural values. Undoubtedly taking the "the best from both worlds" would be the ultimate route to navigating life in New Zealand.

    View record details
  • Empowerment evaluation of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Family Start: Improving service delivery

    Little, Gaylene Robina (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores child maltreatment in New Zealand by considering service delivery of the Family Start programme at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga through an empowerment evaluation. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the service delivery process of the Family Start programme at this site to inform the organization and other Family Start key agents of possible improvements to service delivery so that the Family Start programme is best able to reduce the risk factors that are known to influence child maltreatment in New Zealand. The best possible service delivery by kaupapa providers supports sustainability and the continuity of service with Māori through continual funding. The two objectives of this research are to look at how well the Family Start programme is implemented at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and to consider the cultural appropriateness of service delivery. Community psychology is the paradigm within which I position myself. I respect the values of community psychology that aim to improve the position of disadvantaged people through their participation in social change and community development. Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga is a kaupapa Māori provider and I see an empowerment evaluation as a tool for internal evaluation to assist organizations who value self determination in their own practice. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. There are two objectives to consider service delivery; firstly process aspects of service delivery are looked at and secondly the cultural relevance of service delivery to the population receiving the Family Start programme at this site. These are described as nine points about service delivery. The aim is to provide an empowerment evaluation for Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga to inform, assist and improve service delivery of the Family Start programme in a culturally appropriate manner. The findings suggest better understanding is needed by Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Family Start staff, about the programme intentions, the use of tools such as Born to Learn/Ahuru Mōwai, individual family plans, service delivery levels, maintaining health records and ways to encourage collaboration between agencies. Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga are shown in this research to be reaching the intended population for the Family Start programme, and service delivery appears to be culturally relevant to the clients on the programme at this time. The findings are limited by the fact that access to some information was restricted by Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Family Start management. Consequently, this research looked only at service delivery, and not the benefits of or barriers to the actual programme. The effectiveness of the programme in reducing child maltreatment is important but could not be measured in this research. Reducing child maltreatment is the main aim of the Family Start programme and would be measured through client outcomes. This research considered service delivery to see if the Family Start programme is offered optimally to assist the aim of reducing child maltreatment.

    View record details
  • Ethical Educational Interventions: Perceptions of Accounting Students and Graduates and the Legitimation of 'Ethical' Actions

    Low, Mary (2007)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    The issue of ethical educational interventions in the accounting classroom is not new. As far back as 1967, the Horizon for a Profession: The common body of knowledge for certified public accountants study indicated that if [t]here were no ethical foundation to the profession then there would in fact be no profession (p. 14). The 1984 Bedford Report identified the need for higher education to develop the entering accountant's ability to think, to communicate, and to understand the nature and role of ethics. The Treadway Commission (1987) and the Accounting Education Change Commission (1990) both cited the need for young professionals to be able to make ethical and value-based judgements. The 2004 Ethics Education Task Force Report to the AACSB stated that business schools must encourage students to develop a deep understanding of the myriad challenges surrounding corporate responsibility and corporate governance and provide them with tools for recognizing and responding to ethical issues, both personally and organisationally. The 2006 Information Paper: Approaches to the development and maintenance of professional values, ethics and attitudes in accounting education programs commissioned by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) found that, while there was overall growing interest in professional and business programs responding to the call for greater ethics coverage in the curricula (p. 13), the conclusion was that overall ethics coverage in accounting programs appears minimal (p. 13). These international research studies demonstrate that there have been ongoing requests for ethical educational interventions at the tertiary level of education. However, in New Zealand little research has been done on this issue. This research on the issue of ethical educational interventions in the New Zealand accounting tertiary level curriculum therefore will contribute significantly to knowledge in this area. Furthermore, this study makes another significant contribution to studies on ethical educational interventions because it attempted to find out the perceptions and beliefs held by important but seemingly forgotten stakeholders: accounting students and graduates on the importance of having ethical educational interventions in the accounting curriculum. This approach was taken because it was important to find out directly from the individuals in whom accounting educators are trying to develop important competencies and skills through their university studies, whether or not they perceived that such interventions would have any influence in their ethical decision-making behaviour. Therefore a comparative and longitudinal study using questionnaire survey instruments and semi-structured interviews was conducted with accounting students and graduates. A mixed methods methodology approach was taken to analyse the quantitative and qualitative data subsequently collected from the respondents. What makes this study particularly important is that accounting students and graduates are directly being asked what they think about the issue of ethical educational interventions in the classroom. Do they believe that such interventions would help them become more ethical accountants (individuals) in the real world? Do they believe that such interventions would influence their ethical decision-making behaviour for the better? In addition, they were also asked about the factors they saw as being the most influential on their behaviour and ethical decision-making. This study is therefore important because, from these very important groups of individuals (stakeholders), the benefits of ethical educational interventions in the classroom and whether they would help to develop a better understanding of ethical reasoning and ethics education issues could be explored. After all, the participants of this study are the individuals aspiring to become future chartered accountants of accounting firms and/or future financial controllers and chief executives of businesses. This study makes a further contribution to the knowledge and theory on accounting and ethics education research because it also looked at the legitimation of 'ethical' actions (legitimacy theory) by exploring ethical theories initially and then using these triangulated theories to interpret accounting students' and graduates' responses to hypothetical situations in an attempt to understand their ethical reasoning. The continuing accounting scandals and corporate crises mean that accounting educators and professional practicing accountants (which accounting students and graduates will aspire to when they commence their accounting careers) all have to cringe when their professional ethics are questioned after each accounting debacle. This is because both accounting educators and practitioners have to read about their members falling from grace through inappropriate ethical behaviour. The question of whether or not these members received appropriate instruction through their learning at university always becomes a prominent issue and there is increasing research to suggest that what accounting educators have been teaching has been woefully inadequate in addressing the ethical stances of accounting students and graduates. The questionnaire findings from Section II: Hypothetical Ethical Cases raise some concern. The inability of a significant percentage of accounting students and graduates to identify correctly whether an action was ethical or unethical is quite concerning as the three hypothetical ethical cases were not so complex that the respondents were unable to distinguish between the two conditions. The question arises as to whether these respondents were less sure because they saw such actions as being 'acceptable' to society and therefore, in their minds, legitimate 'ethical' actions to take in the situation. The findings of Section III: Hypothetical Ethical Situations are also of concern in that significant percentages of accounting students and graduates showed themselves as potentially willing participants in unethical and, in some instances, illegal behaviour. The implications of these two findings suggest that more attention needs to be paid to the type of ethical educational interventions that accounting students receive so that the ethical reasoning of individuals can be improved and they understand better what appropriate legitimate ethical actions for society really are. Without this understanding, it can be argued that accounting students and graduates will find it difficult to withstand the legitimacy whirlpool that will draw them straight into the midst of unethical behaviour that seems 'acceptable' to society because it is legal but nevertheless raises questions about the true integrity and professionalism of accountants in practice. The overall findings from this research study indicate that accounting students and graduates perceived ethics education to have only a moderate influence on their ethical behaviour. The majority of accounting students and graduates believed that by the time they reached university studies, their personal values and behaviour had become entrenched and therefore would have more influence on the way they interacted in the corporate world. However, the majority of respondents in this study still believed that it was important to have ethics education in their degree programmes as they believed that this exposure would help them learn how to resolve ethical situations more appropriately if they were ever to be confronted with such situations. This important finding suggests that the type of ethical educational interventions we expose students to will, therefore, have to be carefully thought out by education providers. The issue of legitimation in what might appear to be 'ethical' actions but are really questionable in terms of whether the 'social contract' between the individual (the focus being the accountant for this study) and society is honoured appropriately also becomes an important area to consider in ethics education. Accounting educators therefore need to look carefully at their goals for ethics education so that the curriculum they deliver will have more than a moderate influence on accounting students and graduates when they join the professional and corporate world. It cannot be stressed enough that accounting educators need to maximise the opportunity to influence their students' learning; so that these students leave university with a better mindset of ethical values and socially responsible business practices. A schematic encapsulation of this ethical educational intervention doctoral thesis is provided to summarise the important research directions and findings of this study. The encapsulation highlights the research contributions to knowledge that this study makes and provides a critical reflection on the issue of accounting ethics education.

    View record details
  • Attitudes towards and Perceptions of Women Managers and Their Communication Competencies in the Sultanate of Oman

    AL-Mahrouqi, Abdullah (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study was concerned with the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the Sultanate of Oman. In particular, it focused on the attitudes of Omani people towards women as managers and the perceptions of these managers‘ communication competencies. It also explored reasons for the underrepresentation of women in managerial positions. The study investigated the topic through a feminist-research lens and used a mixed-method approach that included both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to collect the data. For quantitative data, a questionnaire survey was conducted on a convenience sample of 208 participants from the Ministry of Higher Education in Oman. The survey included two different tests: the Women as Managers Scale (WAMS) and the Communication Competencies of Women Managers Scale (CCWMS). For qualitative data, 12 Omani males and females from the Ministry were interviewed in order to gain in-depth information to complement the qualitative data. The survey data were analysed using the SPSS program while the interview transcripts were analysed using the thematic analysis technique to capture major themes that emerged from the data. The survey findings showed, first, that participants held both positive attitudes towards women in managerial positions and positive perceptions of women managers‘ communication competencies. Second, gender was not found to have significant influence on either the attitudes or the perceptions of communication competencies. Prior experience with women managers, on the other hand, did have significant influence on participants‘ perception of women managers‘ communication competencies but not on the attitudes towards these managers. The findings also indicated that there was a weak correlation between attitudes towards women managers and the perceptions of their communication competences. Finally, the findings showed a significant relationship between satisfaction of working with women managers and attitudes towards women managers, while there was no relationship between attitudes and being overseas. Thematic analysis of the interviews showed that the level of representation of women in managerial positions in Oman could be influenced by many factors educational, Managerial (professional), psychological, familial, societal, and religious. The contribution of this research lies in the following areas. First, the study helps fill the gap in knowledge identified in the review of the literature. While there is a reasonably volume of research on attitude towards women managers in a number of countries, there has been hardly any in Oman. Second, the study shows that while attitudes and perceptions towards women managers in Oman compare favourably with those in many countries, these positive attitudes and perceptions are far from universal. Some people in Oman still believe that men have more abilities than women and are more suitable to work as managers. Third, the research has highlighted the fact that although Omani women have received a great deal of support and encouragement from the Omani government in recent times, there is still much to be done to achieve proportional representation of men and women in managerial positions.

    View record details
  • Novel polymeric microcapsules for targeted drug delivery

    Lin, Yuewen (2009)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Microencapsulation is a technology in which small particles or droplets are entrapped by a coating to give the particles with many useful properties. Microcapsules have been used to protect the encapsulated material from the environmental conditions or to release the active agent in a sustained and controlled manner into the surrounding medium. This thesis investigated how to develop a post-ruminal delivery system based on polymeric microencapsulation. A major criterion was to develop microcapsules with reversible switching in response to changes of pH in the in vivo environment so contents could be released. The microcapsules must have a thin shell strong enough to withstand harsh physical conditions and a large hollow centre, which will maximise drug-carrying capacity. Two processes were developed to manufacture pH-responsive microcapsules - conventional interfacial polymerisation with plasma-induced grafting and a novel phase-inversion technique with chemical grafting. This research demonstrated that microcapsules with a porous shell could be manufactured by interfacial polymerisation. Carboxyl groups introduced onto the pores in the microcapsule by plasma-induced graft polymerisation of acrylic acid allowed pore openings to be controlled by the pH change of the environment. Polyamide microcapsules made by interfacial polymerisation had a hollow core and a porous shell with smooth external and rough internal surfaces. Their average diameter of 28 µm decreased with increased stirring rate during polymerisation. Shell porosity could be changed by adjusting the ratio of amine monomers used to form the microcapsule shell. An argon plasma treatment was developed to graft acrylic acid onto the microcapsule surface. Plasma treatment with 90 seconds produced 0.56 mmol/g of grafting extent. The effect of pH on releasing contents from poly(acrylic acid)-grafted microcapsules was investigated using two different sized molecules (vitamin B12 and cytochrome c) to simulate model drugs. Release rate was not significantly affected by molecular size; contents were retained when pH was between 7 and 5.5 and released when pH was between 5 and 3.5. Full release occurred at pH below 3. Further studies showed that micron-sized microcapsules with a hollow core and a thick matrix wall could be made from polycaprolactone, polysulfone and polystyrene. A modified solvent evaporation process reduced shell thickness but the microcapsules still had a non-porous skin. Process parameters such as polymer concentration, temperature, surfactant, solvent composition, stirring speed, processing pressure, and co-polymer additives influenced structure and internal morphology of the microcapsules. Morphological characteristics of the microcapsules strongly depended on the way the coating polymer is precipitated, particularly the non solvent–polymer–solvent interactions. Chemical grafting was not successful for grafting acrylic acid onto the polycaprolactone and polysulfone microcapsules. Polystyrene microcapsules with a hollow core and porous micro-channel shell structure were successfully produced using a novel formulation in a phase-inversion process. The outer skin could be removed by re-dissolving the formed microcapsules in a suitable solvent. Open pores with inter-connected micro-channels on the microcapsule surface can be produced by carefully controlling the time the microcapsules are in the solvent. The microcapsule was functionalised using free radical polymerisation to graft acrylic acid onto its surface. However, these microcapsules did not completely retain their contents at pH 7 and had a slow release profile when pH was decreased. Recommendations are given on how to improve and optimise the process. Polystyrene microcapsules made with a simple and inexpensive phase-inversion technique have potential as a targeted drug delivery system. They could be re-usable, compared to most other systems that degrade or disintegrate, and may have other applications as a carrier to immobilise desired molecules onto the microcapsules. Further investigations to optimise manufacturing polystyrene microcapsules should include: larger scale trials; further investigations, using orthogonal tests with multi-variation analysis to optimise factors affection microcapsule porosity and extent of grafting; identifying an alternative, faster way to analyse pore size; and developing a mathematical model for the release rate.

    View record details
  • Issues of power in a history of women's football in New Zealand: A Foucauldian genealogy

    Cox, Barbara Douglas (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    In the majority of countries throughout the world, football is a highly popular sport for women and girls and one which continues to grow in playing numbers. According to FIFA, 26 million females were registered as football players in its member countries, an increase of four million players within the past five years (FIFA Big Count, 2006). Despite such popularity of participation, histories of women’s football ‘speak’ of exclusion, struggle and conflict, and thus, the prime question which underpins this study is: “how has women’s football in New Zealand gone from a position of struggle to a point where the game is perceived as a ‘normal’ sporting activity for women and girls?” In order to examine this question, I have used Michel Foucault’s concept of conducting a ‘history of the present’, a genealogical approach which accounts for the “constitution of knowledges, discourses, domains of objects and so on...” (Foucault, 1978, p. 117). I drew extensively on a wide range of source material: media texts from newspaper articles and letters to the editor; football texts from the minute books of various football associations, official correspondence and six scrapbooks; interviewing texts which were produced by in-depth interviews with 15 women who had been purposefully selected because of their involvement in playing and coaching/administration of football for at least five years; and vignettes of my own footballing experiences over a 35 year period. Within this genealogical approach, I identified and interrogated how dominant power-knowledge discourses produced power effects for female footballers, and impacted upon the development of the game through different periods of time since 1921. An investigation of these various texts revealed that female footballers have been constructed in specific ways as they emerged as “objects of knowledge” (Foucault, 1978, p. 105). In 1921, the tactical deployment of key discourses positioned the emergent girl footballer as irresponsible, selfish and unfeminine; after a blaze of publicity, she vanished without a trace. Fifty-two years later in 1973, the lady footballer emerged and continued to be discursively constructed through similar heterosexual discourses of marriage, motherhood and femininity. However, this time the tactical deployment of the same discourses which led to the disappearance of the girl footballer, intersected with other prevailing discourses to re-emerge in sufficiently modified forms to make it possible for the lady footballer to play, and continue to play, football. An examination of a dominant discourse in the period approximately 1980 to 2008 revealed how new and different elements, associations and relations intermeshed into a common network to provide the conditions which would allow women’s football to develop and flourish. The ‘truth’ of the discourse Female Football – The Fastest Growing Sport in New Zealand continued to be reinforced by increasing participation numbers and, combined with various sporting practices in clubs and schools, gradually normalised football as an ‘appropriate’ sport for females. However, this same discourse concealed the struggles of female footballers who attempted to become involved in coaching and administration within male-dominated organisations, suggesting that this ‘normalisation’ only extended to females playing football. My research findings have highlighted the usefulness of deploying Foucault’s genealogical approach in examining current issues within women’s football and, I suggest, other women’s sports as well. In an examination of the power effects produced by power-knowledge discourses, the resultant struggle to disseminate the ‘dominant’ discourse or the ‘truth’ allows an insightful understanding of how power may be exercised during particular time periods. In turn, this may help us understand how discourses can shape men’s and women’s perceptions of reality, yet, simultaneously prevent them from seeing other views of reality. I believe Foucault’s genealogy is an exciting theoretical and practical method whereby the recording of a sporting history may be combined with an understanding of how power-knowledge discourses can be strategically deployed in gendered relationships of power.

    View record details
  • The Struggle For Success: A Socio-Cultural Perspective on the French Marist Priests and their Māori Mission 1838-1867

    Harman, Sandy Angela (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    The nineteenth-century Roman Catholic missionary endeavour in New Zealand had its origins in a society of priests from Lyon, known as the Marists. The Marists’ mission has been deemed a failure due to its ongoing financial problems, its reputation for having abandoned Māori adherents, and its less visible impact compared to the Anglican Mission. This thesis examines the challenges facing the pioneer Marist priests in New Zealand and asks the question: was the Mission indeed a failure? The answer lies in the correspondence of the French Marists themselves, a largely untapped historical source which contains a different view of early New Zealand contact and religious history from that of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) evangelists. ‘The Struggle for Success’ consists of three parts examining the Mission before, during and after the pioneer phase. The first describes the Marists’ early influences and religious formation in France, which serve to elucidate the missionaries’ raison d’être and provide an historical context for the Mission. It is also an important attempt at a prosopography of men whose early lives were barely documented, and whose connection with contemporaneous and historical France, and the Lyon area in particular, would greatly affect the missions in Oceania. The subsequent comparative mission history in Part Two highlights the difficulties and conflicts that affected the progress of the Marist Māori Mission in New Zealand compared with other Christian missions in Oceania, notably the CMS in New Zealand and the early Marists in Wallis, Futuna, Tonga and New Caledonia. It describes the factors leading to the alleged failure of the Marist Māori Mission and demonstrates that hardships and struggle were the common lot of pioneer missionaries in Oceania. But the Marists on the Māori Mission had the added obstacles of being Frenchmen in a British colony, ascetics surrounded by and dependent on commerce, and dutiful religious under the authority of overburdened bishops. Irish immigration into New Zealand distorted the original aims of the French Marist missionaries, and Māori politico-religious initiatives to combat the devastating impacts of British colonialism essentially quashed Marist hopes that Māori would become a decidedly Catholic people. Having considered the obstacles to success, the thesis discusses in Part Three how the pioneer Marists understood success and conversion. In retrospect, it is clear that the missionaries underestimated the tenacity of early Māori catechists, but the CMS in New Zealand and Marists throughout Oceania were equally insensible in this respect. Finally the thesis offers an assessment of the mission’s overall success taking into account the revival of the Marist Māori Mission in the late 1870s and its continuation into the twentieth century. The social, cultural and political complexities of missionary endeavour demand a less rigid evaluation of missions than has been previously offered; and success and failure are problematic terms for the pioneer Marist Māori Mission because evangelisation was and is a work in progress.

    View record details
  • Identifying an appropriate science curriculum for undergraduate nursing in New Zealand

    Fenton, Christine Dunnington (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    The depth and breadth of science knowledge that is required to educate registered nurses has been the subject of much debate, both nationally and internationally. Central to the debate is the lack of clarity on what science is required for nursing. Nursing students world-wide report anxieties and difficulties with learning science within nursing programmes. It has not been established if science is required for nursing, nor has it been established how science is used by nurses engaged in clinical practice. This research was aimed at examining the use of science in nursing practice and therefore identifying an appropriate undergraduate nursing science curriculum for New Zealand nursing schools. To achieve this aim, a mixed method, interpretive, naturalistic approach has been employed involving interviews, surveys, observation studies and document analysis. The research had four phases; interviews with nine nurse educators and lecturers, written surveys undertaken by 71 registered nurses, observation and in-depth interviews with 17 registered nurses’ in practice across the central and lower North Island, and document analysis. Nurse educators and lecturers were interviewed to gain their perspectives of the role of science in nursing. A Science Attitude and Self-Efficacy (SASE) survey included sections that focused on nurses’ attitudes towards their nursing science courses, attitudes towards science in nursing, and probed their confidence in their own ability to use science in practice. Observations of nurses in their clinical practice were conducted over several hours and the nurses interviewed about their observed actions. The observed nursing actions and espoused science knowledge that were extracted from clinical practice were categorised into science and science-related topics which frame the breadth of content used in nursing practice, and the depth was ascertained by the level of complexity the nurse was able to articulate. Document analysis of curriculum information as well as Nursing Council of New Zealand standards for education, competencies and scopes of practice was also performed to ascertain the importance and relevance of science to nursing practice. Nursing Council documents state that science is important for all levels of nursing practice, from patient observation, to clinical decision-making. Science knowledge assists the nurse when conducting risk analyses and when performing nursing care and assessment. A competent nurse needs to provide advocacy and education for a patient. To be effective at this, a nurse needs to be able to read, critique, understand and translate scientific information and be able to effectively communicate with other health professionals. The majority of nurses in practice felt that science knowledge was the foundation for nursing practice, and that nurses require an in-depth knowledge of science. Nurses who had passed Level 3 secondary school science were more likely to have found studying nursing science courses easy, and had a positive attitude towards using science-in-practice. Those nurses who had a positive attitude towards science were more likely to use in-depth science knowledge in their nursing practice. Nurses who practice in areas where their decision-making is independent and autonomous were more likely to use more in-depth science to inform their practice. Nurses that had a less positive attitude towards science were more likely to have experienced difficulty studying science courses as a student, and were more likely to apply shallow science in their nursing practice. The curriculum design processes within nursing schools may contribute to devaluation of science in nursing. Nursing lecturers were more likely to have a less positive attitude of science’s relevance to nursing practice than nurses in practice. Some aspects of science’s contribution to nursing were unrecognised and may explain why aspects of science-based knowledge and skills that were observed in clinical practice were not represented formally in the reviewed curricula. Nursing science curricula are often represented as discrete packages of science information, whereas in nursing practice, science is entirely integrated. As such, nursing science education needs to become integrated, but explicit within nursing, and its contribution and relevance to nursing more emphasised. Trends in healthcare indicate that the nursing workplace of the future will require nurses to engage in more independent and autonomous practice in the community. This will require nurses who can engage with scientific material, as well be able to innovate and advance nursing practice, which has implications for nursing education. This thesis identifies an appropriate science curriculum for undergraduate nursing in New Zealand and contains recommendations for its implementation.

    View record details
  • Targets of Elf5 in Mouse Trophoblast Stem Cells

    Deane, Jessica Robyn (2007)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The Placenta is an essential organ for all mammalian embryonic development as it provides the nutritional link between maternal and foetal blood streams. The cells which go on to proliferate and contribute to all the major cell types of the embryo derived placenta have been located to the trophoblast (TE) cells overlying the Inner Cell Mass (ICM) of the embryo. Immortal cell lines have been subsequentially derived from this tissue and called Trophoblast Stem (TS) cells. In parallel with their in vivo counterparts they are also reliant on Fibroblast growth factor 4 (FgF4) (Tanaka et al., 1998) and Activin/Nodal signalling (Guzman-Ayala et al., 2004). The Ets family transcription factor, Elf5, has been shown to be specifically expressed in the early placental trophoblast and subsequent derived tissues. Mice deficient in Elf5 failed to form a placenta post implantation. Furthermore TS cells were unable to be derived from Elf5 knockout embryos (Donnison et al., 2005). This work suggested that Elf5 plays an essential role in TS cells and their differentiation. The aim of this study was to determine the downstream target genes of Elf5 in mouse TS cells. The target genes of Fgf4 and Activin/Nodal signalling in TS cells were also investigated. This work is hoped to contribute to an overall greater understanding of the molecular networks underlying TS cell maintenance and to contribute to our knowledge of early placental development. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeted reduction of Elf5 mRNA expression in mTS cells was achieved using two independent siRNAs; with Elf5 reduction exceeding 80%. The resulting changes in gene expression were measured in order to determine the downstream targets of Elf5. Selected genes known to be important for trophoblast differentiation and maintenance were measured using real-time PCR in a candidate gene approach .Global changes in gene expression as a consequence of Elf5 silencing were measured using an Affymetrix microarray. Global changes in gene expression due to growth factor (Fgf4 and/or Activin) removal were also measured. Expression of 22 genes was changed using either of the Elf5 siRNA oligonucleotides. Of these, 9 were also significantly changed by growth factor removal. Included in this set were Synopl, Hst3st3b1, Cyr61 and Sox2. In the overall analysis, many genes whose expression changed upon loss of Elf5 are known to play important roles in trophectoderm cell specification. Real-time PCR validation agreed closely with the up or down regulation measured using the microarray. This work has thus led to the discovery of sets of Elf5 target genes potentially involved in trophoblast stem cell function and has provided the foundation for future work exploring the molecular pathways of trophoblast development.

    View record details