28,621 results for Thesis

  • Capturing recurring concepts in high speed data streams

    Sakthithasan, Sripirakas

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research addresses two key issues in high speed data stream mining that are related to each other. One fundamental issue is the detection of concept change that is an inherent feature of data streams in general in order to make timely and accurate structural changes to classification or prediction models. The shortcomings in the past research were addressed in two versions of a change detector that were produced during this research. The second major issue is the detection of recurring patterns in a supervised learning context to gain significant efficiency and accuracy advantages over systems that have severe time constraints on response time to change due to safety and time critical requirements. Capturing recurrent patterns requires the detection of concept change with minimal false positives. This research addresses this latter problem as a pre-requisite to formulating a novel mechanism for recognizing recurrences in a dynamic data stream environment. The first approach to change detection, termed SeqDrift1 that relies on a detection threshold derived using the Bernstein bound and sequential hypothesis strategy ensured much lower false positive rates and processing time than the most widely used change detector, ADWIN. The second version of the change detector, SeqDrift2, achieved significant improvement on detection sensitivity over SeqDrift1. This was achieved through two separate strategies. The first was the use of reservoir sampling to retain a larger proportion of older instances thus providing for better contrast with newer arriving instances belonging to a changed concept. The second strategy was to trade off false positive rate for detection delay in an optimization procedure. The net result was that SeqDrift2 achieved much lower detection delay than SeqDrift1 but sacrificed some of its false positive rate when compared to SeqDrift1, while still retaining its superiority with respect to this measure vis-à-vis ADWIN and other change detectors. Having proposed a robust and efficient mechanism for change detection two different meta-learning schemes for recurrent concept capture were proposed. A novel framework using the two schemes consists of concept change detectors to locate concept boundaries, a Hoeffding tree compressor to exploit the application of Discrete Fourier Transform on Decision Trees to produce compact Fourier Spectra, a forest of Hoeffding Trees to actively learn and a pool of Fourier spectra to be reused on similar recurring concepts. In the first scheme, termed Fourier Concept Trees (FCT), each Fourier spectrum is separately stored and reused on similar concepts. Accuracy and memory advantages have been empirically shown over an existing method called, MetaCT. In the second scheme, instead of storing each spectrum on its own, an ensemble approach, Ensemble Pool (EP), was adopted whereby several spectra were aggregated into single composite spectrum. The major advantage of this strategy over the first was the reduction in storage overhead as redundancies in separate spectra are eliminated by merging into one single entity. In addition, Fourier spectrum generation is optimized with theoretical guarantees to suit high speed environments. Extensive experimentation that demonstrated the benefits including accuracy stabilization, memory gain, reusability of existing models etc., has been done with a number of synthetic and real world datasets. This includes a case study on a Flight simulator system which is one of the target applications of this research.

    View record details
  • Customers' expectations of hotel green marketing: a New Zealand quantitative study

    Mat Yusof, Noor Amalina

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Tourists’ perceptions of destination impacts and environmental consequences of their visits to destinations likely play a central role in travel decision-making (Lee, Hsu, Han, & Kim, 2010) . Their demands for environmentally friendly products encourage hotels to react accordingly by participating in the ‘green movement’ and committing to green marketing strategies that require both financial and non-financial support. With a developing demand for environmentally friendly products and hotels, the purchasing of green products by customers should be increasing, but recently the actual purchasing of these products seems to have declined. Green marketing is proposed to neutralise negative perceptions towards green practices (Rex & Bauman 2007) This study therefore investigates customer perceptions of green marketing strategies and activities. Particularly, this study examines green marketing related activities with two main objectives: (1) explore hotel customers’ opinions of green marketing strategies and (2) explore hotel customer expectations of environmental best practices within green hotels. Focusing on the New Zealand context, this study aims to assist green hoteliers to better develop green marketing to improve such initiatives in the hotel industry. Customer perceptions are explored utilising the four Ps of the marketing mix: product, price, promotion and place. A quantitative case study approach to the research is used. In particular, a self-administered questionnaire was given to delegates who attended an environmental-related conference in Auckland in 2014. Respondents were expected to have informed knowledge about the environment and hotel green marketing programmes. This knowledge was expected to provide insights to help marketers develop better green marketing strategies. As explained in the results chapter, respondents acknowledged certain green marketing strategies as effective, neutral or ineffective. Effective strategies were those in which green products were seen as special, those that used internet technology to disseminate green initiatives to customers, where green practices were undertaken at the premises, where appropriate business partners were used, where environmentally friendly distribution channels (from vendors to customers) were used, and where the overall image was believed to encourage customers to purchase green products at a green hotel. The functionality of eco-labels in green promotions was perceived neutrally. Some respondents acknowledged the importance of these eco-labels as quality assurance, while others perceived them as uninteresting promotional strategies. The ineffective green marketing strategy was pricing strategy; respondents expressed their particular dislike of being charged extra for green products. The results also produced a surprise finding; in spite of viewing green products as special, respondents also believed green products may harm human health. In terms of green practices, generally respondents favoured tangible practices. However, they mostly preferred practices in which they could participate (e.g. recycling programmes, linen and towel re-use programmes), those which they were involved with at home (e.g. recycling programmes, linen and towel re-use programmes, using green cleaning products) and those which were convenient for them while staying at a hotel. These findings can assist hoteliers to review their current green marketing strategies and develop better ones to persuade green customers to purchase green products. In terms of the academic literature, results of this study were successful in their aim of adding new knowledge to the green marketing research area.

    View record details
  • Dynamic process of user adaptation to complex mandatory information systems

    Wanchai, Paweena

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The introduction of a complex system, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, requires users to adapt to the simultaneous requirements of the new system and the associated organisational and business process changes. Unsuccessful adaptation to complex mandatory systems generates significant financial and opportunity costs to organisations and makes some employees feel dissatisfied with their jobs. Previous information systems (IS) research provides important insight into IS use. However, there is a lack of an in-depth study of the process of user adaptation that explains how user adaptation behaviours change over time and what triggers users to modify their system use behaviours. This study unveils the dynamic adaptation process and offers an explanation of how adaptation behaviours unfold over time. The fieldwork was conducted in four organisations in Thailand: one private, one state-owned, one non-profit and one multinational. An embedded multiple-case study design was applied in this research. Using the critical incident technique, 46 in-depth interviews were conducted with ERP users, managers and IT specialists. Grounded theory informed both the method of data analysis and the technique for theory building. As a result of an inductive theorising process, three intertwined core themes emerged. The first theme, user adaptation behaviours, reflects the different ways in which users respond to the evolving work practices that an ERP system imposes. The second theme, situational conditions, reveals the underlying conditions that influence the user adaptation process including social-task-user conditions and system-business process comprehension. The third theme, triggers, refers to events that change user perceptions towards the system or changes in the work environment. This study produces an emergent, substantive theory that explains how individuals dynamically adapt to complex mandatory IS. These adaptation behaviours, which are shaped by situational conditions, manifest in the form of reluctant, compliance, faithful and enthusiastic adaptation behaviours. Through their interaction with the system, individuals are constantly assessing the system in relation to the existing situational conditions. The adaptation behaviours espoused at any given time can be subsequently modified through task-related, organisational-related and system-related triggers.

    View record details
  • Comparative analysis of construction procurement systems based on transaction costs

    Rajeh, Mohammed

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Within construction procurement, Transaction cost economics (TCE), offers a mechanism to understand ‘unseen’ costs associated with the pre and post-contract work. Pre-contract, these include costs related to information gathering and procurement. Post-contract they include activities of contract administration and enforcement. This research investigates the relationship between procurement system and transaction costs (TCs) in the New Zealand construction industry, developing a theoretical model of relationship between procurement systems and TC. The model was operationalized and developed into a questionnaire. A cross-sectional sample approach was deployed, involving questionnaire survey, interviews, and research verification through ‘real world’ cases. Data was sought from professionals in management, design and operations (i.e. project managers, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, and procurement officers). These professionals represented several construction organizations and NZ Councils (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin). TCs were measured using time-spent conducting procurement related activities as a surrogate for cost. Professionals evaluated their time spent on procurement activities using a 5-point Likert scale, comparing the Traditional and Design-Build delivery systems. 96 responses (74 usable) were received from a sampled population of 360 (27% response). This data was triangulated with interviews to test and explain the model. The tests included Validity and Reliability Tests, Path Analysis, Regression Analysis, Factor Analysis, and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The primary analytical technique used was Structural Equation Modelling to yield information on Goodness-of-Fit, model development and comparison, and confirmatory strategies. SPSS Amos 21 statistical software was used for data analysis and model development. The data demonstrated univariate and multivariate normality assumptions underlying SEM testing of research hypotheses. Of 43 hypotheses tested, six null hypotheses were rejected, demonstrating a positive relationship between the costs of information, procurement, administration, and enforcement with TCs. Additionally environmental uncertainties have indirect significant impact on TCs. The results suggest procurement systems have indirect impact on TCs, which is fully mediated by costs of information, procurement, administration, and enforcement. Finally, for research results verification, the models were applied to real-life cases (four Traditional, two Design-Build). TCs were calculated using regression equations based on factor loadings in the Traditional and Design-Build models. It was found that TCs in the Traditional system amounts to 18.5% of the annual salary cost of a project manager (as an indicator quantum), while in the Design-Build system, it amounts to 14.5% of the annual salary cost of a project manager. This study applies a new theoretical model for procurement selection based on TCs, investigating and empirically demonstrating the influence of procurement system on TCs in construction. It also offers a new plausible explanation for the factors influencing TCs in procurement. The findings have practical implications on construction business practice due to their robust empirical nature and theoretical framework, which might enhance the performance of the construction industry. The study contributes to the procurement selection in construction, by introducing a new conceptual model for the link between procurement systems and TCs. It has extended the current practices for procurement selection by estimating TCs for different procurement systems, specifically for the Traditional and Design-Build systems for comparison. This study emphasizes ‘in-house’ TCs from the perspective of the client, consequently the study recommends that the work be expanded to determine the ‘out-of-house’ TCs from the contractor perspective. Furthermore that to expand the relevance of the findings further work using the same methodology should be used to measure TCs for other procurement systems for comparison purposes. Finally, this study calculates TCs within projects, so it was recommended to further explore intra-organizational TCs in construction.

    View record details
  • Interactive evolutionary computation in design applications for virtual worlds

    Kruse, Jan

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Modern films, games and virtual reality are highly dependent on convincing computer graphics. Models of high complexity are a requirement for the successful delivery of many animated scenes and environments. While workflows such as rendering, compositing and animation have been streamlined to accommodate increasing demands, modelling of complex models is still a laborious and costly task. This research introduces the computational benefits of Interactive Genetic Algorithms to computer graphics modelling while compensating the negative effects of user fatigue, a commonly found issue with Interactive Evolutionary Computation. A multi-agent system is used to integrate Genetic Algorithms with computational agents and human designers. This workflow accelerates the layout and distribution of basic elements to form highly complex models. It captures the designer’s intent through interaction, and encourages playful discovery. A modelling pipeline integrating commercially available tools with Human-based Genetic Algorithms is implemented, and a Renderman Interface Bytestream (RIB) archive output is realized to provide easy adaptability for research and industry applications. Comparisons between Interactive Genetic Algorithms and Human-based Genetic Algorithms applied to procedural modelling of computer graphics cities indicate that an agent-based evolutionary approach outperforms a purely human-centric solution: More iterations are possible in less time, which ultimately leads to better results and a superior user experience. Based on initial testing, a range of suggestions for future investigation are given.

    View record details
  • Effectiveness of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in addressing development-induced disasters: a comparison of the EIA processes of Sri Lanka and New Zealand

    Hapuarachchi, Arosh Buddika

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    There is an on-going exponential increase in development-induced disasters globally, especially in low and middle-income countries. This upward trend in the occurrence of development-induced disasters challenges sustainable development efforts. It has been generally accepted that instruments such as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reduce disaster risks of development projects. The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) for disaster risk reduction promotes using EIAs to address the disaster risk of development projects. Over 65 percent of the countries that have met the HFA progress-reporting obligation in the 2009-2011 reporting cycle, state that disaster risks of development projects are addressed by implementing EIA. However, the claims that EIA processes effectively address disaster risks have yet to be demonstrated empirically. It is clear that successful implementation of EIA processes also depends on the level of governance quality existing in a particular country. It is suggested that a well-conceived EIA process should reflect many of the elements of good governance principles including transparency, sufficient information flows, accountability, and stakeholder participation. Quality governance, therefore, is considered as having a direct bearing on why impact assessments in some countries are performing better than others. The influence of governance quality on the effectiveness of EIAs can be addressed by comparing the EIA processes of two or more countries with different levels of governance quality. In this research, the effectiveness of the EIA process in addressing development-induced disasters is evaluated by comparing the EIA processes of Sri Lanka and New Zealand. These two countries have quite different governance quality ratings and, therefore, offer a test of the influence of governance characteristics on EIA processes in addressing disaster risks. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the EIA processes of the above countries, a set of evaluation criteria was identified, mostly from existing literature. Eight criteria were specifically developed for this research. Data for the research were collected from in-depth interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire and focus group discussions with interviewees selected on the basis of their role, knowledge and expertise of the EIA process. Documents from both state and non-state actors relevant to the EIA process were also analyzed. Several recently conducted development projects in each country were used as cases to understand how the legislation is used in practice. It is clear that explicit reference to disaster risk is absent in environmental management policies in both Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Even though the New Zealand EIA process has a higher procedural and contextual effectiveness than Sri Lanka, both countries have lower levels of substantive effectiveness. Neither of the two EIA processes is found to be effective in addressing disaster risk because of inadequate policy integration of disaster risk into the environmental legislation that governs the EIA process. The results suggest more specificity is needed in legislative provisions and suggest a review of standard practice in using EIA to address disaster risk. The findings also imply the need to undertake evaluations of EIA systems elsewhere to assess their effectiveness in addressing development-induced disaster risks.

    View record details
  • Exploring the acceptability of, and adherence to, a carbohydrate-restricted, higher fat diet as an instrument for weight loss in women aged 40-55 years

    McPhee, Julia

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    It is well recognised that aging in females is associated with a predilection for weight gain. Women with abdominal obesity are known to be at especially high risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, as well as associated poorer overall health outcomes. Many of these metabolic disorders however, can be alleviated through weight loss. The increasing evidence around the impact of hormonal function on weight gain and body composition validates the need for further investigation into the dietary effect on menopause-affected hormones. Current dietary and weight-loss guidelines, considered to be ‘best practice’, equate to promotion of a diet with a macronutrient profile comprising high levels of carbohydrate, moderate amounts of protein, and minimal fat. In contrast to this traditional ‘best practice’ approach, an alternative weight-loss strategy promoting a model of eating that is lower in carbohydrate, moderate in protein, and higher in fat has been posited as an effective weight-loss option. The low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) dietary approach recognises that the macronutrient composition of the diet itself may have a positive impact on weight loss due to hormonal interactions. This exploratory study investigated the acceptance of, and adherence to, a LCHF diet in women aged 40 – 55 years. The primary outcome measures of this study were barriers to and motivators for acceptance of and adherence to this way of eating. Secondary outcomes included mood state, adherence, satiety levels, and weight loss. The aim of this study was to determine factors affecting women aged 40 – 55 years in modifying dietary behaviours and maintaining those behaviours while undertaking a LCHF way of eating. The hypothesis underpinning this study was that LCHF - through its macronutrient profile - has the potential to enhance an individual’s adherence to the behavioural lifestyle modifications required to reduce weight and improve metabolic health outcomes. Furthermore, adherence to dietary modifications could be maximised by the combination of appropriate health behaviour theories (HBT), the web-based nature of the study, and the satiating effect of LCHF food options. Overall, mean percentage weight loss from baseline to study completion was 5.6%. Weight loss was greatest in participants with the highest average adherence levels across the study period. The overall average adherence level of 83.5% was a positive outcome and reflected focus group results around factors that impacted adherence. These key findings included support by family members, in particular spouses, who appeared to act as both a barrier and motivator to adherence, satiety, or feeling of fullness, and being prepared, in particular having acceptable LCHF options readily available. Findings from this study suggest that a LCHF way of eating was both acceptable and feasible for study participants. Furthermore this way of eating elicited weight loss and allowed adherence to the dietary intervention, possibly through the mechanism of improved satiety. While findings suggest that LCHF may be a promising weight loss approach for this population, further research is required for this target group.

    View record details
  • Turning points in therapy with Bulimia Nervosa clients: a qualitative analysis of the therapist's perceptions

    Mysliwiec, Nadia

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research explored therapeutic turning points as experienced by therapists working with clients diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa. A growing body of research reveals that turning points make important contributions to change, transformation and recovery during therapy (King et al. 2003). This research aims to develop a deeper understanding of how turning points and mindfulness-based techniques effect the treatment of this complex eating disorder. While there is existing research on the turning points that occur during therapy with eating disorder clients there is a paucity of research on the turning points that occur specifically with clients diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa. Studies have documented various changes in clients during and after treatment for bulimia, however, most of this research stems from quantitative data and little from the actual experiences of clients and their therapists. Therefore, this study conducted in-depth interviews with five experienced psychologists and psychotherapists working in this field. Using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-step guide to thematic analysis, five major themes emerged from the therapists’ discourses. Firstly, therapists believed that it was essential for their clients to build social relationships with others, and that one of the first turning points was the initial trust and collaboration between client and therapist. Secondly, therapists said that an important turning point in therapy was when clients felt that they wanted to change. This need was often driven by a client’s shame and guilt related to their bulimia and the detrimental consequences of their illness. Thirdly, it was crucial for clients to experience a feeling of success. An initial turning point, as experienced by the therapists, was when a client could resist the urge to binge and purge. This allowed the client to feel empowered and hopeful, in turn increasing their motivation and allowing space for the clients to realise that their lives could be different. Fourthly, therapists strongly believed that “negative” turning points were just as useful as positive ones. Lastly, therapists supported the use of mindfulness and acknowledged the positive influence it had on turning points. A key turning point was when clients could let go of their rigid thinking and be with their emotions. This often lead to “ah-ha” moments, ultimately facilitating the realisation that bulimia is a choice they could have control over. This study has added to the growing field examining the turning points that occur in therapy with clients diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa and has yielded much needed information for practice and future research.

    View record details
  • An investigation of droplet evaporation characteristics in an ultrasound environment

    Protheroe, Michael Desmond

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study investigates and quantifies the effect of an imposed ultrasound field on the evaporation of water droplets in, for example, humidifiers used in medical respiratory treatments. The purpose of the ultrasound field is to accelerate the droplet evaporation process. This would have benefits in terms of improved efficiencies, more compact equipment sizes and better process controllability. A preliminary investigation was carried out to identify the most promising mechanisms for the effect of the imposed ultrasound field on the evaporating droplets – this being the enhancement of the normal mass and heat transfer processes involved. From this, theoretical models of normal and ultrasound enhanced droplet evaporation were developed to predict the rates of water evaporation and also changes to the droplet size distribution during evaporation. An experimental investigation was carried out to measure water droplet evaporation rates and changes to the droplet size distribution under normal and ultrasound enhanced conditions. It was found that the ultrasound field improved droplet evaporation rates in all cases tested, even at very low power levels. Improvements varied from 1 – 30%. An increase in the strength of the ultrasound field increased the improvement in evaporation rate. However, air flow above a certain threshold diminished this improvement by disrupting the ultrasound field. Investigation of the changes to the droplet size distribution indicated that at high ultrasound power levels and low air flow rates a significant amount of droplet coalescence occurred which caused the droplet distribution for the remaining droplets to shift to much larger droplet sizes. Results from theoretical models compared well to the experimental results for most experimental conditions. Differences between model and experiment occurred for the very small droplet sizes and where the effect of the ultrasound field caused maximum droplet coalescence and heating of the air and these areas warrant further future investigation. It was concluded that the ultrasound enhancement of water droplet evaporation does occur by enhancing the heat and mass transfer processes involved, that improvements in evaporation rate up to 30% could be achieved and that this could be applied to medical respiratory equipment to improve its operation and efficiency.

    View record details
  • Children whose parents foster other children: the experiences of growing up with a foster sibling

    Nel, Luzaan

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Within today’s society, many different forms of “alternative parenting” exist, including single parent homes, step-parent homes, grandparent headed households, adoption, and foster-care, all of which are family systems that differ to the traditional nuclear family form. In several of these different family forms there is the likelihood that children who are not genetically related are being raised together as siblings. The current study sought to investigate the experiences of the resident child growing up with a foster sibling. The findings from this study will add to the very limited literature on growing up with a foster sibling in New Zealand and may influence future policy. Five semi-structured interviews were conducted. The study explored whether the lived experiences of adolescent resident children is congruent with the research literature within the field of foster care; and sought to expand the knowledge of this population. There were nine topical areas investigated: parents’ motivations to foster from the resident children’s perspectives, preparation for fostering, overall experiences of having a foster sibling, the positives of fostering, the challenges of fostering, what resident children felt they gained from fostering, advice to parents and other resident children, resident children fostering when they are adults and the impact of permanence of the foster sibling relationship. A descriptive qualitative analysis was used to investigate the experiences of resident children, and concluded that in contrast to the majority of the literature, resident children overall had positive experiences of growing up with a foster sibling. Implications for families, limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.

    View record details
  • Landscape as tension: exploring the analytical and generative potential of a focus on tension in the landscape

    Blackburne, Kate

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Current approaches to landscape analysis and design often respond to inhabitant value through processes of layering and categorisation. These strategies are critiqued as being limited in their ability to represent the intricate and complex character of landscape, as well as for their ‘binary’ nature. This thesis considers a potential realignment of the scope to focus on landscape tension – the emblematic relationships which come as a result of contrasting inhabitant values. A focus on landscape tension is considered in response to one particular cultural and geographic setting; the relationship between Farmers and Walkers on Banks Peninsula. First the analytical potential of a focus on tension is questioned, where rather than mapping inhabitant value, we might analyse the sociocultural landscape based upon its most active components – through a focus on tension. This is revealing of both the spatial landscape itself, its inhabitants and the associated person-to-person relationships. Following this the generative potential of a focus on landscape tension is considered, where landscape is designed as tension rather than in response to it. A critique of these outcomes is given illustrating the value of such an approach in a contested setting.

    View record details
  • Interpreting the terrain for remembrance

    Hoskins, Anikaaro Isabella Ross

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    This thesis is a theoretical exploration of ‘remembrance’ and its production in the interactions between people/s and the landscape. This exploration takes place in the broad context of post earthquake Christchurch with a focus on public spaces along the Ōtākaro – Avon river corridor. Memory is universal to human beings, yet memories are subjective and culturally organized and produced - the relationship between memory and place therefore operates at individual and collective levels. Design responses that facilitate opportunities to create new memories, and also acknowledge the remembered past of human – landscape relationships are critical for social cohesion and wellbeing. I draw on insights from a range of theoretical sources, including critical interpretive methodologies, to validate subjective individual and group responses to memory and place. Such approaches also allowed me, as the researcher, considerable freedom to apply memory theory through film to illustrate ways we can re-member ourselves to our landscapes. The Ōtākaro-Avon river provided the site through and in which film strategies for remembrance are explored. Foregrounding differences in Māori and settler cultural orientations to memory and landscape, has highlighted the need for landscape design to consider remembrance - those cognitive and unseen dimensions that intertwine people and place. I argue it is our task to make space for such diverse relationships, and to ensure these stories and memories, embodied in landscape can be read through generations. I do not prescribe methods or strategies; rather I have sought to encourage thinking and debate and to suggest approaches through which the possibilities for remembrance may be enhanced.

    View record details
  • If we plant the plants do the insects follow? An assessment of indigenous invertebrates in an urban forest remnant and restoration sites in Christchurch

    Ford, Denise Elizabeth

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Urbanisation has led to substantial loss and fragmentation of natural habitat. Native ecosystems have been detrimentally affected through this habitat loss along with reduction of habitat quality and the introduction of non-native plants and animals. The impact of urbanisation can be reduced by the protection and restoration of remnant habitat along with re-vegetation of suitable areas with indigenous plant species. Through public interest and community group participation urban restoration has increased globally, with the motivation to re-create ecological processes which support native flora and fauna. Successful restoration should restore biological functions and the integrity of ecosystems but this is often only evaluated on the success of establishing native plant cover. The hypothesis of 'if you build it they will come' is seldom tested. This study aims to assess the importance of remnant indigenous habitat to the success of restoration projects and if restoration is achieving the goal of re-creating ecological processes. This aim was accomplished by surveying the biodiversity and abundance of terrestrial invertebrates. They constitute a wide range of functional groups and are major contributors to almost all ecological processes and thus valuable and increasingly used indicators of ecosystem integrity and function. This study repeated one done by Richard Toft in 2003 where invertebrates of the old growth remnant forest of Riccarton Bush, suburban gardens and the restoration site of the Wigram Retention Basin were sampled. Two other restoration sites, Travis Wetland and Styx Mill Reserve, within Christchurch City were also included in the repeated survey of 2013. Results from the 2003 survey showed that Riccarton Bush was well differentiated from the suburban gardens and the restoration site of Wigram Retention Basin. The restoration site was more similar to the suburban gardens than the remnant old growth forest. The repeated survey ten years later in 2013 showed similar results, the restoration site of Wigram Retention Basin was still similar in species richness and abundance to the suburban gardens than Riccarton Bush. The site most similar to Riccarton Bush was an area in Travis Wetland that contained old growth manuka (Leptospermum scoparium). Indications from this study reflect others; the succession of restoration sites to fully functioning ecosystem takes time. The establishment of suitable habitat, the surrounding landscape matrix and dispersal ability impact on the capacity of species to colonize restoration sites. The key to the enhancement of native biodiversity in an urban setting is the restoration and maintenance of remnant vegetation and the success of restoration projects. The findings of this study contribute to the understanding of the requirements needed for the invertebrates to follow the plants and whether some management changes are required to achieve a positive ecosystem outcome.

    View record details
  • Understanding visitor perspectives on volcano tourism at Mount Pinatubo, Philippines: a mixed methods study

    Aquino, Richard

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Despite the risks involved, travel to undertake leisure activities on active volcanoes is a growing form of special interest tourism. Some argue that this is due to the increased accessibility of these landforms and the popularisation of global volcanic activities through traditional and social media. In addition to the attraction of tourists to volcano tourism, tourism researchers have also increasingly focused their attention on this phenomenon. However, there is a lack of research on understanding volcano tourists including their motivations, experience expectations, and actual experiences. By researching visitors to Mount Pinatubo, an active volcano in the northern Philippines, the primary aim of this study is to gain insight into these issues. A multiphase mixed methods research design with concurrent/parallel phases was adopted for this study. The first phase (QUAN/qual) was a pre-tour survey of visitor motivations and expectations of volcano tourism experiences. A survey with 26 five-point Likert-type scale items based on a push-pull motivation framework, embedded with open-ended qualitative questions was developed. This was administered to a quota sample of visitors on-site at Mount Pinatubo, prior to them undertaking a volcano tour. Statistical analysis of 204 valid survey responses reveals four push motives, namely, escape and relaxation, novelty-seeking, socialisation, and volcano knowledge-seeking; and two pull motives, namely, dark and activities-induced, and volcanic and natural attribute-driven motives. Novelty-seeking is found as the core motivation factor for visiting the volcanic site. Statistical testing also reveals differences in terms of gender, prior experience of volcanic sites, and visitor types. Females were discovered to have higher motives to learn about volcanoes. Visitors who have visited other volcanoes prior to their Mount Pinatubo tour report higher attraction to the volcanic and natural features compared to first-time volcano tourists. Domestic visitors are more likely to escape and relax compared to international visitors, while international visitors are more likely to seek unique experiences compared to their domestic counterparts. A qualitative content analysis of the reported experience expectations reveals that visitors anticipate fun and hedonic experiences prior to the tour. The second phase (QUAL) entails post-tour semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore the actual volcano tourism experiences of the visitors. Those who had a recent experience of the tour were purposely selected to participate in the interviews. A thematic analysis of the 12 interviews show varied perceptions, emotions, and views on the experience. A conceptual framework was developed based on interactional theory, which suggests these experiences are found to be influenced by Mount Pinatubo’s natural, recreational, and socio-cultural dimensions. Thereafter, findings from the two phases of the study were analysed together to draw inferences based on convergence and divergence of findings. Convergences across findings were found except in the educational aspect of the tour which is absent on the post-tour narratives of the interviewees. Likewise, findings reveal that the pre-tour hedonic expectations are more likely to be exceeded by the spiritual and transformative outcomes of the experience. The implications of this study may aid tourism administrators in marketing and managing the volcanic site. Finally, practical recommendations for management and suggestions for future research are provided.

    View record details
  • Understanding consumers’ relational behaviour: an integrated model of psychological contracts, trust and commitment in the context of beauty services for females

    Kucherenko, Yekaterina

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Psychological contracts play an important role in relationships between consumers and service providers. Due to their cognitive nature, it is essential to understand how psychological contracts are created and perceived by consumers. Though psychological contracts are widely explored in the context of inter-organizational and interpersonal relationships, studies investigating psychological contracts in the context of consumer-service provider relationships have received limited academic attention. Past studies in this area of research have focused on consumers’ perceptions of different marketing strategies offered by a firm as well as individual characteristics that determine the formation of various types of psychological contracts with the firm. However, it is unknown how psychological contracts affect important marketing concepts such as satisfaction, trust, and commitment. This research, therefore, aims to advance the understanding of consumers’ relational behaviour with service providers by exploring various types of psychological contracts and incorporating them in the model as the antecedents of satisfaction, trust, and commitment. A cross-sectional survey method is proposed to address two research questions: (1) how two types of psychological contracts (i.e. transactional and relational) influence the formation of a communal psychological contract; and (2) the extent to which psychological contracts affect consumers’ satisfaction, trust, and commitment to a service provider. This study is expected to contribute to the marketing literature by exploring the nature of relationships between the customer and service-provider based on psychological contracts as the main determinant of customer satisfaction, trust and commitment. A quantitative approach is used to bridge this important gap in the literature. Data of this study were collected using the street intercept method and online survey. 305 women living in Auckland completed the survey. Hypotheses were tested by using Hayes (2013) regression based path-analytic procedure. Specifically, an ordinary least squares (OLS) criterion was used as it defines the best fitting line linking independent to dependent variables by providing a linear regression routine that derives the regression constant and regression coefficient (Hayes, 2013 ). The results of this study provide a general support of the model and show that consumers’ transactional and relational psychological contracts are associated with the formation of a communal psychological contract. Furthermore, each type of psychological contract influences consumers’ core relational outcomes in a different but certain way. A transactional psychological contract was found to have a negative effect on the formation of a communal psychological contract which in turn affected satisfaction, trust and commitment to the service provider. A relational psychological contract was found to have a positive impact on the formation of a communal psychological contract and the three core relational outcomes. Finally, a communal psychological contract was found to mediate the relationships between both types of psychological contract (i.e., transactional and relational) and consumers’ satisfaction, trust and commitment.

    View record details
  • Veitalatala: Mātanga ‘o e Talanoa

    Toluta'u, Talita Kiume

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study is concerned with representation. It considers the nature of a culturally located, discursive form called veitalatala and its creative translation into designed artifacts that consider the lyrical and graceful nature of Tongan women’s talanoa. The designed outcomes of the project consider the memories of three hou’eiki fafine (Tongan women) who left their homeland to settle abroad. Veitalatala: Mātanga ‘o e Talanoa is a creative synthesis of their talanoa, into new forms of artistic narrative, designed to capture the cultural and emotional resonance of their identities. The lyrical works orchestrate photography, animation, musical composition, sound design, filmed interviews, graphic design, sublimation printing on ngatu, and extensive postproduction experimentation, into unique texts that move the parameters of traditional documentation beyond conventional audio/visual interview. In so doing, the ngatu portraits and filmic veitalatala conceptually, contribute to the Tongan concept of luva (giving). Although Churchward (1959) defines veitalatala as a distinctly poetic form of talanoa, recent interviews with Havea (2014), Puloka (2014), Taliai (2014), Manu’atu, (2014), Taufa (2014), and Taumoepeau (2014) suggest that veitalatala is a complex and nuanced form of communication with diverse origins. Significantly, Tongia (2014) associates the term veitalatala with hou’eiki fafine. He suggests that it is a harmonious form of communication historically and socially related to the female gender. This thesis proposes through practice, that the tenets of veitalatala may be extended into artistic artifacts to create a contemporary, lyrical, yet culturally consistent means of representing histories and memories of Tongan hou’eiki fafine.

    View record details
  • Marion Milner and Creativity: a thematic analysis

    Puckey, Jane Elizabeth

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This dissertation analyses literature written by the psychoanalyst and artist Marion Milner, in relation to creativity. The focus of this research is Milner’s personal, creative process in order to bring further understanding as to how a psychotherapist can facilitate creativity for optimal practice. An interpretative methodology informed this study, which utilised a method of thematic analysis. The themes identified in this study have been conceptualised as a psychological model (Ego, Duality and Oneness) which addresses the way we can process lived experience to elicit psychic growth through an act of creative surrender – in order to develop the capacity to think unknown thoughts and to further awareness and freedom. The significance of creativity for clinical practice and a critical reflection of this research are discussed.

    View record details
  • Factors influencing the airport customer experience: a case study of Auckland International Airport's customers

    Losekoot, Erwin

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The aim of this study was to investigate the factors influencing the airport customer experience. Much current research and management effort on airports focuses on efficiency, effectiveness, speed of processing and rankings on international league tables. These measures seem to reward those airports which can best move the largest number of passengers and their luggage. The writer of this study believed that the ‘experience’ of the ‘airport customer’ (passengers and those meeting or farewelling them) is not being given sufficient prominence at a time when it is recognised that the ‘experience economy’ can add value and create customer loyalty. New Zealand’s largest airport was the case study location for this research, and 120 interviews were undertaken in the airport environment with people who were experiencing the airport, either as arriving or departing passengers, or those greeting or farewelling them. In addition, 10 interviews were undertaken with airport management to explore their perceptions of the airport customer experience. All interviews with airport customers were undertaken in the land-side food court area of the international terminal. A plan of the airport is provided in Appendix 2 to assist the reader in understanding the layout of the airport. The guided conversations were focused on encouraging participants to share their perspective of the airport customer experience in order to build on what is already known from the quantitative surveys of passengers which are the more common form of research into airports. Together with the above data, the writer also kept a detailed research diary with observations made over the course of the data gathering phase. Hermeneutics guided the interpretive process which resulted in a number of overarching themes or notions which form the basis of this study’s findings. These include processes, people, physical environment and ‘placeness’. However, the research also uncovered what the writer has termed a ‘personal travel philosophy’. There was a significant number of people who, despite delays and other obstacles to their travel plans, appeared to be remarkably content with their lot at the airport, and this term is used to describe that group. The research concludes with a proposed model of the airport customer experience addressing five aspects – physical environment, processing, people, placeness and personal travel philosophy – and provides recommendations for airport management and opportunities for further academic research both in airports and in congruous areas such as hospitals. Airport management must spend time making people feel welcome if these spaces are to be perceived as hospitable places. The contribution that this thesis makes to the body of knowledge is a deeper understanding of the factors influencing the airport customer experience in the customers’ own words. It allows the voices of airport customers to be heard in a way that has not previously happened, in part because the dominant paradigm is a positivist one of facts, figures, benchmarks and league tables. By taking the time to listen carefully in an open-ended discussion, this research has identified much of what the airport customer really feels about the space they are obliged to spend an increasing amount of time in.

    View record details
  • Examining the nature of interpersonal coach- athlete dyads between New Zealand national respresentative female football players and national head coaches

    Woolliams, Dwayne

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The purpose of this research is to better understand the nature of the coach-athlete relationships within New Zealand Football’s National Female under 17s, Under 20s and the Senior Women’s team (the ‘Football Ferns’). The coach-athlete relationship plays a pivotal role in the coaching process and both parties form close relationships with a high degree of interdependence. Better Sport Psychology has had less to say about the contexts and significant external determinants within the intrapersonal factors are seen to vary; amongst these is the coach. This study adopts a constructivist approach that draws upon a theoretical framework as proposed by Jowett and colleagues (Jowett, 2009; Jowett & Meek, 2000; Jowett & Cockerill, 2003; Jowett & Ntoumanis, 2004) exploring multiple interdependent relationships with coach- athlete dyads. A mixed- method approach will be facilitated in this study to combine both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The participants consisted of a purposive sample of approximately 67 New Zealand national representative female football players and their respective head coaches. Quantitative research was facilitated by implementing a 22 item Coach Athlete Questionnaire (CART-Q) to investigate the nature of the inter-relationship constructs of Closeness (emotions), Commitment (cognitions), Complementarity (behaviours) and Co-orientation (perceptual consensus) in the coach-athlete dyad. Descriptive statistics and magnitude based analysis was undertaken to identify key variables which were followed up in qualitative interviews. Qualitative data was gathered by facilitating a small number of semi structured interviews to examine the nature of critical similarities and differences between CART-Q constructs and the performance context of interest in more depth and using thematic analysis. The findings of this study indicate that there are significant similarities and difference in the perceptions of athlete- coach dyadic relationships and these can be viewed with the premise that the uniqueness of high performance sport in New Zealand shapes the contextual nuance of the athlete- coach relationship.

    View record details
  • Top management team members' perception of executive servant-leadership and their work engagement: impact of gender and ethnicity

    de Villiers, Daniel

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The purpose of this thesis project is to test whether executive servant-leadership behaviour predicts the work engagement of top management team members at publicly listed companies in New Zealand. It further tests the effects of gender and ethnicity as moderating variables on the relationship between top management team members’ perception of executive servant-leadership behaviours and their work engagement. The Executive Servant-leadership Scale and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale were used as measures in this project. These were administered in the format of a structured questionnaire to identified top management team members of organisations listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, more specifically the NZX All Index that comprises only domestic securities listed and does not include foreign listed or dual listed securities. The results confirm that executive servant-leadership behaviour by Chief Executive Officers of publicly listed companies in New Zealand significantly predicts the work engagement of top management team members. It further confirms that neither gender nor ethnicity demonstrate a moderating effect on this relationship, for the sample used in the research.

    View record details