25,544 results for Thesis

  • Geospatial process modelling for land use cover change

    Nti, Isaac Kwadwo (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Human activities and effects of global warming are increasingly changing the physical landscape. In view of this researchers have developed models to investigate the cause and effect of such variations. Most of these models were developed for specific locations with spatial variables causing change for that location. Also the application areas of these models are mainly binary transitions, not complex models which involve multiple transitions, for example deforestation models which deal with the transition from forest lands to non-forest areas and urban growth transition from non-urban areas to urban. Moreover these land simulation models are closed models because spatial variables cannot be introduced or removed, rather modellers can only modify the coefficients of the fixed variables. Closed models have significant limitations largely because geospatial variables that cause change in a locality may differ from one another. Thus with closed models the modellers are unable to measure and test the significance of variables before their inclusion. This work investigated existing land use cover change (LUCC) models and aimed to find a geospatial workflow process modelling approach for LUCC so that the influence of geospatial variables in LUCC could be measured and tested before inclusion. The derived geospatial workflow process was implemented in DINAMICA EGO, an open generic LUCC modelling environment. For the initial calibration phase of the process the Weight of Evidence (WoE) method was used to measure the influence of spatial variables in LUCC and also to determine the variables significance. A Genetic Algorithm was used to enhance the WoE coefficients and give the best fitness of the coefficients for the model. The model process was then validated using kappa and fuzzy similarity map comparison methods, in order to quantify the similarity between the observed and simulated spatial pattern of LUCC. The performance of the workflow process was successfully evaluated using the Auckland Region of New Zealand and Rondônia State of Brazil as the study areas. The Auckland LUCC model was extended to demonstrate vegetative carbon sequestration scenario. Ten transitions were modelled involving seven Land Use Cover (LUC) classes and a complex dynamic LUCC for Auckland was generated. LUC maps for 1990 and 2000 were used to calibrate the model and 2008 was used to validate the model. The static spatial variables tested were road networks, river networks, slope, elevation, hillshade, reserved lands and soil. The hillshade and soil variables were found to have no significant impact in the LUCC for the Auckland area, therefore they were excluded from the model. If a closed model had been used these insignificant variables would have been included. The calibration phase revealed that wetland and cropland LUC areas in Auckland have not changed between 1990 and 2000. The validated LUCC model of Auckland, served as a foundation for simulating annual LUC maps for advance modelling of Carbon Sequestration by vegetation cover. In order to test the generic nature of the workflow process model a second case study was introduced that had a different data resolution, area extent and fewer LUC transitions. Compared to Auckland, the new Rondônia case study was a simple LUCC model with only one transition, with coarse data resolution (250m) and large area extent. The evaluation of the Rondônia LUCC model also gave good result. It was then concluded that the derived workflow process model is generic and could be applied to any location.

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  • Food waste New Zealand: a case study investigating the food waste phenomenon

    Parr, Harriet (2013-11-29)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Food waste is an increasing concern for Governments in developed countries and in New Zealand it is estimated that the annual value of household food waste is 750 million dollars. The looming crisis in global food security including food waste has resulted in a detailed report from the United Kingdom’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers, IMechE’s (2013) which concluded that education is critical to help consumers lower their generation of food waste; and that policy changes led by Governments, must be introduced, to tackle this escalating problem. In New Zealand information on food waste is scarce however statistical evidence does show each household discards food valued at 450 dollars annually (Davison, 2011) yet ironically, 270 000 children in New Zealand live in poverty, where many do not have enough food to eat (Collins, 2012). This research aims to investigate the issues of household food waste, from the perspective of consumers, to discover if practical techniques can be applied to alleviate household food waste. Currently, advertising and marketing campaigns to enable consumers to think about their household’s food waste, instigated by Government or educational organisations are nonexistent. Also co-operation with supermarkets and food manufacturers to educate their consumers about the implications of creating food waste which would begin to address some consumer concerns raised in this research is unavailable. As with other issues of sustainability will it be consumer pressure or economic policy makers who will drive information transparency and best practice? Disposal methods, and landfill diversion of food waste was not the focus of the case study. Rather the practical implementation of food waste reduction methods from website information and suggestions was important. Adding to the case study family’s problem was that alternative food waste disposal methods, to divert food waste such as composting, or green waste collection services, were unavailable, in Auckland the service was not provided by Government. A case study methodology was used to underpin this research. The importance of using an in depth case study is highlighted by determining whether or not website information is informative enough to induce household behavioural change. The value of website information is a priority for this research as the thesis tested if informative suggestions from websites could encourage a change in waste behaviour. The relationship between the case study family, website information and amounts of food waste is analysed throughout the project and is vital to inform the research about successful methods of reduction. The outcomes of this study outlined information techniques which the family applied to the experiment. In theory these methods could be used in further research to test another family’s waste calculations. Overall findings from this research revealed that with the correct education, tools and techniques, a household can reduce food waste to a minimum. Connecting waste reduction methods via a virtual knowledge sharing system would provide consumers, producers and Government agencies with the option to create and exchange food waste reduction concerns and techniques.

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  • Object-centric Intelligence: Sensor Network and Thermal Mapping

    Yamani, Naresh (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Quality of product is an important aspect in many commercial organizations where storage and shipment practices are required. Temperature is one of the main parameters that influence quality and temperature treatments of agricultural products therefore require special attention. The temperature variation in a meat chiller has a significant effect on tenderness, color and microbial status of the meat, therefore thermal mapping during the chilling process and during chilled shipment to overseas markets is vital. The literature indicates that deviations of only a few degrees can lead to significant product deterioration. There are several existing methods for thermal mapping: these includes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Methods (FEM) for examination of the environmental variables in the chiller. These methodologies can work effectively in non real-time. However these methods are quite complex and need high computational overhead when it comes to hard real-time analysis within the context of the process dynamics. The focus of this research work is to develop a method and system towards building an object-centric environment monitoring using collaborative efforts of both wireless sensor networks and artificial neural networks for spatial thermal mapping. Thermal tracking of an object placed anywhere within a predefined space is one of the main objectives here. Sensing data is gathered from restricted sensing points and used for training the Neural Network on the spatial distribution of the temperature at a given time. The solution is based on the development of a generic module that could be used as a basic building block for larger spaces. The Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) perform dynamic learning using the data it collects from the various sensing points within the specific subspace module. The ANN could then be used to facilitate mapping of any other point in the related sub-space. The distribution of the sensors (nodes placement strategy for better coverage) is used as a parameter for evaluating the ability to predict the temperature at any point within the space. This research work exploits the neuro Wireless Sensor Network (nWSN) architecture in steady-state and transient environments. A conceptual model has been designed and built in a simulation environment and also experiments conducted using a test-bed. A Shepard’s algorithm with modified Euclidian distance is used for comparison with an adaptive neural network solution. An algorithm is developed to divide the overall space into subspaces covered by clusters of neighbouring sensing nodes to identify the thermal profiles. Using this approach, a buffering and Query based nWSN Data Processing (QnDP) algorithm is proposed to fulfil the data synchronization. A case study on the meat plants cool storage has been undertaken to demonstrate the best layout and location identification of the sensing nodes that can be attached to the carcasses to record thermal behavior. This research work assessed the viability of using nWSN architecture. It found that the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) at the infrastructural nodes has a variation of less than 0.5C. The resulting MAE is effective when nWSN can be capable of generating similar applications of predictions.

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  • Crossing the borders of play and learning: ethnic Asian-Chinese perspectives on the value and purpose of a play-based early childhood curriculum

    Huang, Ming-Hua (Rita) (2013-11-29)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    “Learning through play” is an important component of Western early childhood education, and plays a key role in the play-based curriculum in New Zealand (Ministry of Education, 1996; White, O’Malley, Toso, Rockel, Stover, & Ellis, 2007). However, this concept is challenged in New Zealand by Ethnic Asian-Chinese (EAC) immigrant families, who question the educational value of play for young children (Guo, 2006; Li, 2001a; Liao, 2007; Wu, 2003, 2009). For the early childhood education sector in New Zealand, this tension is compounded by the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 1996), because it affirms both the valuing of play and the valuing of diverse cultural perspectives. Further research and discussion of EAC immigrant parental perspectives on play in early childhood education will be essential to addressing this tension. The objective of this research is to investigate EAC parental perspectives on the value and purpose of a play-based early childhood curriculum and to explore the implications for early childhood teachers in order to support the building of effective partnership with immigrant families in New Zealand. This research involved eight EAC immigrant parents who had or currently have at least one child attending a play-based early childhood setting in New Zealand. A qualitative approach was employed to allow EAC parents’ experiences, values and beliefs of a play-based curriculum to be explored and examined in detail. Factors that EAC parents perceive as being most important for children to learn at a play-based early childhood curriculum were explored through interviews with the volunteer participants. Findings from the study revealed that although EAC parents may view learning as distinct from play, they agree that children should have an opportunity to play and expect their children to learn through play. The results of the study contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural background of EAC parents and how they perceive children’s learning and play. Practical suggestions for pedagogy and future research were also identified.

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  • The effect of stroke rate on performance in flat-water sprint kayaking

    McDonnell, Lisa Kelly (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Stroke rate has been implicated as an important determinant of sprint kayaking performance via correlation analysis. This thesis determined the effect of stroke rate on sprint kayaking performance including: (1) What stroke rates are required to achieve medal winning times?; (2) What are typical self-selected stroke rates of New Zealand paddlers?; (3) Do paddlers respond well to stroke rate feedback?; and (4) What is the effect of increasing stroke rate on performance and technique? Two literature reviews, one quantitative descriptive performance analysis, two quantitative experimental reliability studies, two quantitative experimental biomechanical studies, and one quantitative experimental intervention study were completed. Elite K1 200-m world championship medallists’ average stroke rates ranged 144-168 spm for men and 131-147 spm for women in competition. New Zealand elite paddlers (males and females) typically rated 98-101 spm, but tests were limited to 300-m sprint training at “race pace” and during the last stage of an incremental ergometer test. It was best to assess stroke rates using time-trials. The typical self-selected stroke rates of New Zealand male sub-elite paddlers were 122 ±11 spm during K1 200-m time-trials. While metronome feedback targets were not fully achieved when increasing stroke rate by 5-10 spm, the metronome was effective for increasing stroke rate by 4-5 spm (2.9-4.2%). The stroke rate increase led to a 200-m performance time enhancement of 0.9-1.0% for sub-elite paddlers, where a general trend existed that faster paddlers responded better to the stroke rate increase. Other key variables that indicated better performances were shorter water phase times, aerial phase times, entry sub-phase times and exit sub-phase times. Overall, absolute phase and sub-phase times reported in seconds were more associated with performance than relative phase and sub-phase times. Increasing stroke rate using metronome feedback also caused reductions in water and aerial phase times. Water phase times were reduced primarily by reductions in pull sub-phase times. Pull sub-phase times were not significantly associated with performance, possibly indicating variability in the efficiency of the pull phase between skill levels on-water. Key segmental sequencing variables important for inducing a stroke rate increase between intensities were shorter durations of the pull arm, trunk, and leg actions. Decreasing forward reach was inevitable and decreasing pull arm time was the most important variable for increasing stroke rate, so paddlers should focus on reaching as far forward as possible without hindering their ability to quickly direct the paddle backward. Trunk rotation and leg extension movements increased with intensity and are considered important for performance theoretically for achieving greater paddle tip velocity when the blade enters the water by utilising a greater leg pedalling motion. In conclusion, New Zealand paddlers typically rated well below the recommended stroke rates required to achieve medal winning times in the K1 200-m event. Metronome feedback was effective for eliciting an acute stroke rate increase of 4-5 spm (2.9-4.2%), which led to performance enhancements of 0.9-1.0% in K1 200-m time-trials. Further research is needed to determine the ideal training strategies for making larger increases in stroke rate without losing efficiency in the pull sub-phase.

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  • Perceived and measured health benefits of aqua-based exercise for older adults with osteoarthritis

    Fisken, Alison Lesley (2013-11-29)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Ageing is associated with a number of physiological and psychological changes. These include declines in muscle mass, strength, functional ability, and balance, which are associated with increased risk of falling and reduced quality of life. In addition, many older adults have osteoarthritis and the associated symptoms of joint pain and stiffness may exacerbate the age-related changes in physical function. Regular exercise can help offset the age-related declines in muscle strength, functional ability and balance, however many older adults do not regularly exercise. In particular older adults with osteoarthritis tend to have lower levels of physical activity than older adults without osteoarthritis. Aqua-based exercise is recommended for older adults with osteoarthritis due to the properties of water, however relatively few studies have investigated this type of exercise among this population. The first aim of this thesis was to investigate perceived benefits and barriers to participation in aqua-based exercise among older adults with and without osteoarthritis, who regularly engage in this form of exercise. The key perceived benefit for those with osteoarthritis was pain reduction, whilst those without osteoarthritis identified general health and fitness as the primary benefit. Both groups identified social interaction as an important benefit. Cold changing facilities, particularly during winter, was a key potential barrier for both groups. The second study examined perceived barriers and benefits of aqua-based exercise among older adults with osteoarthritis who had tried, but no longer participated in aqua-based exercise. Key barriers were a lack of suitable classes and insufficient instructor knowledge, as well as cold changing facilities and pool temperature. Benefits included the cushioning effect of the water and the ability to move around more freely. The third study was undertaken to gain greater insight into the effect of different types of aqua-based exercise on pain and heart rate response of older adults with osteoarthritis. In addition, participants’ opinions and attitudes towards each exercise mode were explored. Participants tried different types of aqua-based exercise including: hydrotherapy, which is a therapist-supervised programme which takes place in warm water; aqua-jogging, which simulates running in deep water whilst wearing a flotation device; resisted-aqua jogging, which is similar to aqua jogging but utilises resistance equipment to increase drag; aqua-fitness, which involves strength and cardiovascular exercises to music in the shallow end of the pool and resisted aqua-fitness, which is similar to aqua-fitness but resistance equipment is used to increase drag. Pain scores immediately post-exercise decreased for all modes of aqua-exercises. Heart-rate response and rating of perceived exertion was also similar for all aqua-exercise modes. Overall, participants enjoyed the hydrotherapy session most, however the aqua-fitness session (un-resisted) was also enjoyed and identified as an acceptable alternative to hydrotherapy. The final study explored the potential health benefits of a 12-week aqua-fitness intervention for older adults with osteoarthritis. An active control group, who undertook a seated aqua-based exercise session once a week, was used help minimise any effects of social interaction on the outcome measures. Positive physiological outcomes were associated with the aqua-fitness group who improved scores in several functional measures, as well as significantly reducing their fear of falling compared to the control group. The findings of this thesis are relevant for future design of aqua-based exercise interventions aimed at older adults with osteoarthritis. The research undertaken may help to identify and therefore address barriers to this mode of exercise for this population. Furthermore, the findings of this thesis offers some insight into the acute responses to different modes of aqua-based exercise, as well as long longer-term chronic adaptations to an aqua-based exercise programme similar to those which are readily available in the community.

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  • Monitoring training-induced fatigue in snowboard and freeski halfpipe athletes

    Turnbull, Jonathon (2013-11-29)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Snowboard and freeski halfpipe (HP) are relatively new skill-based high-risk alpine sports which have received very little attention in sport science research. It therefore appears prudent that initial studies first focus gaining a more detailed understanding of the sport. Information on the type and amount of load and consequent fatigue from normal halfpipe training is an important first step and will help coaches to better plan training sessions and adapt to athlete energy states. Such information is also essential for sport scientists to effectively prepare and recover athletes from training and competition. This thesis considers various forms of fatigue measurement and their sensitivity to training load. Ten male and 14 female elite snowboard and freeski HP athletes (21.8±3.3y, and 23.4±4.6y respectively) participated over the course of a 2-week on snow training camp. Immediately prior to on-snow training sessions, subjects’ countermovement jump (CMJ) and level of perceived fatigue (LPF) were recorded as were post-session CMJ and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). A GymAware linear position transducer was used to measure mean power (MP), peak velocity (PV) and jump height (JH). Reliability was established using coefficient of variation, and a repeated-measures generalised estimating equations (GEE) model used to examine relationships between variables within-day and between-day over the course of the camp. No significant relationships were found between subjective and objective variables when compared within-days indicating our variables may not be sensitive to changes in training load and fatigue from a day of HP training. Significant relationships were found between post-session RPE and load measures, and next day’s MP and PV. Specifically, as the subjective variables increased following training, the next day’s objective variables reduced by varying factors. When considering subjective and objective variables in isolation, subjective LPF was found to increase over the course of the 2 week training camp despite rest days, while neither of the pre-session objective CMJ variables exhibited significant trends. CMJ variables tended to increase after a day’s riding. It was concluded that traditional RPE scales used in conjunction with subjective fatigue ratings and/or MP and PV measurement using GymAware LPT can be useful tools to assist coaches and scientists in prescribing training and monitor fatigue over time. Some evidence of overreaching was found in this study and longer term monitoring of these objective and subjective variables may assist in alerting to signs of overtraining. Further research is required to determine methods of monitoring acute effects of fatigue from HP training.

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  • Segment reporting in Hong Kong listed firms : an empirical assessment of IFRS no.8

    Li Yuanyuan

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    IFRS 8 and its counterpart HKFRS 8 supersedes IAS 14 and HKAS 14 in 2006 to upgrade segment information disclosure that is increasingly becoming important financial information in investment decision making. This study attempts to document the quantity and usefulness of segment information disclosure by Hong Kong listed firms as a consequence of implementing HKFRS 8. The study employs the value relevance of accounting information theory as a measure of usefulness of segment disclosure where segmental data are analysed by the portfolio return approach and regression analysis. Purposive sampling method is used to obtain samples from Hong Kong listed firms. The study results indicate that implementation of HKIFRS 8 has not improved the quantity of segment information, but improved the usefulness of segment information disclosed by Hong Kong listed firms. This is because the “management approach” under HKIFRS 8 leads to segment disclosure reflecting the real financial position of firms.

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  • Secular trends and distributional changes in the BMI and physical activity of New Zealand adults

    Fahey, S. L.

    Thesis
    Lincoln University

    Health is known to be inextricably related to physical activity. The world-wide trend of increasing obesity is a major problem for health professionals, however, the extent to which physical activity contributes to these obesity patterns is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to track secular trends in body mass and physical activity patterns among New Zealand adults aged 18 years and over between 1997 and 2007 to better understand changes over time and the relationship between body mass and physical activity. Data from the 1997 National Nutrition Survey, the 2002/03 New Zealand Health Survey, and the 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey was analysed for changes in body mass and BMI over the ten year period, and weekly physical activity patterns over a 4 year period. Over the ten year period, mean weight increased by 4.8 kg (95% confidence limits CL 3.9-5.8 kg) in males and 3.7 kg (CL 2.8- 4.5 kg) in females. No substantial change in height was observed. Mean BMI increased over the same period by 1.6 kg/m² and 1.3 kg/m² for males and females respectively with an 11.7% increase in the proportion of males being classified as overweight or obese and a 7.6% increase in the proportion of females classified as overweight or obese. Between 2003 and 2007 the total weekly moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity decreased by 39 and 25 minutes for males and females respectively. Brisk walking increased from 196 minutes in 2003 to 260 minutes in 2007 for males and 142 minutes in 2003 to 179 minutes in 2007 for females, which probably contributed to the lack of change in physical activity levels. In conclusion the increase in body mass of New Zealand adults continues unabated. At least some of this increased weight is likely to be due to a reduction in moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity witnessed.

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  • Evolution Made Visible: The Worlds of Thomas Jeffery Parker (1850-1897) the Noted New Zealand Zoologist

    Crane, Rosemary Helen Beatrice (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    A biographical approach to the working life of Thomas Jeffery Parker FRS (1850-1897) provides scope for an in-depth investigation of how zoological knowledge became visible in late-nineteenth century New Zealand. A noted zoologist, Parker arrived in Dunedin in 1880 to a joint appointment as Professor of Biology in the University of Otago and Curator of the Museum. He had spent eight years working as demonstrator in Thomas Henry Huxley’s (1825-1890) laboratory in London. He brought with him a conviction that evolution provided the fundamental organising principle of biology. Once in Dunedin he set about making evolution visible. This study examines the various facets of Parker’s work that achieved this goal. I explore the lively debates arising from the public lectures he gave, in which he promoted evolution. In Dunedin, founded by Scottish Free Church Presbyterians in 1848, public interest in science-and-religion remained high throughout the late-nineteenth century. This study suggests that Parker’s own religious sensibilities lay between the agnosticism of Huxley and the faith of his Wesleyan father, the anatomist William Kitchen Parker (1823-1890). I also investigate Parker’s role in disseminating popular versions of biology, from the podium and through articles, to various audiences. His roles in the sociable side of scientific activities included organizing exhibits for conversaziones and international exhibitions. Parker’s efforts are placed within the context of Dunedin’s vibrant rational entertainment scene. Parker exchanged, bought, sold and collected specimens for the Otago University Museum in order to provide a comprehensive teaching collection. I appraise Parker’s previously little-understood role in museum collection building and explore his material practices in creating objects and their display according to evolutionary principles. Parker’s embryological studies of kiwi and phylogeny of the moa formed a major contribution to New Zealand biology. Methodologically speaking, he followed a traditional path of comparative anatomy. A close-reading of his more than forty papers of technically dense work reveal a conservative mind and a dedication to developmental morphology. Aware of changing epistemologies, he incorporated a statistical approach to his analyses. In this study, I suggest Parker created knowledge through drawing. Analysis of his illustrations reveals his concern with clear exposition. I show how the he used illustrations as part of the process of visual communication not simply as an adjunct. Generations of students learnt zoology using Parker’s system of ‘types’ a pedagogy he inherited from Huxley. They assimilated evolutionary principles via A Textbook of Zoology, which organized the animal kingdom in a typically late-nineteenth century progressive fashion. This two-volume book, co-authored with William Aitcheson Haswell (1854-1925) in Sydney and published posthumously, remains in print. An analysis of its creation shows how disciplinary shifts within zoology were fixed to the page. This study also uses Parker to explore wider concerns in the history of science. These include praxis and materiality, the popularization of science, the rise of the learned journal and broader aspects of print culture, and the geographic location of knowledge creation.

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  • Maximising the Potential of Existing Urban Infrastructure: Can Infrastructure Reuse Provide Successful Public Spaces?

    Kean, Gemma (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    There is great potential for innovative and creative public spaces beyond the traditional park or plaza to exist, yet this is still what most local authorities provide for in their public space policies. As cities intensify there is a need to provide additional public space in what may not have been considered to conventionally be a part of the public realm. Infrastructure is one example which can be used to provide additional public space through the adaptive reuse of a site, instead of abandonment or demolition when infrastructure is no longer required due to technological advancement. This research investigates whether the adaptive reuse of infrastructure can help create successful public spaces, and whether reuse can contribute towards improving the connectivity of an area. This is done using two case studies: Paddington Reservoir Gardens and the Ultimo Pedestrian Network in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The project explores whether there is too much focus on reusing the space with minimal adaptation, and the extent to which the planning processes enable or inhibit development, and allow for or discourage stakeholder involvement. The findings indicate that the adaptive reuse of infrastructure can provide interesting public spaces, however, success is dependent on the surrounding context. The two case studies employed in the research are vastly different. Despite this, the results show that infrastructural public spaces need to be active, provide for a range of users, and incorporate themes such as stickability and fine grain design to contribute positive outcomes to an urban environment.Often with infrastructure there is a risk of focusing too much on the preservation of heritage sites or making do with what already exists, instead of taking a greenfield approach to development. This can lead to spaces which are not integrated with the surrounds and which are not frequented or used as well as they could be. Further research needs to be undertaken to better understand the extent to which these particular public spaces-adaptively reused infrastructure differ to other spaces in the public realm.

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  • The Experience of Depression in the Tokelauan Culture in Two North Island Communities

    Loan, Iain Stuart (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background and Aims: The Tokelauan language lacks a word that corresponds to the western term ‘depression’. Furthermore, there is no research on the experience of depression in Tokelauans, and yet doctors continue to apply a western biomedical model of depression to Tokelauan patients and those from other Pacific cultures. This research aims to describe the experience of depression in Tokelauans and provide insight into its management. Better awareness of the symptoms and signs of depression as experienced by Pacific Islanders will enhance diagnosis and treatment of the illness by general practitioners. Method: Following extensive consultation with the Tokelauan community in Taupo, and using purposive stratified sampling, ten respondents contributed to this study. Semi-structured in depth interviews were performed and recorded verbatim. The transcripts of the interviews were thematically analysed using an immersion crystallisation technique, with further analysis to detect sub themes. Results: There is no specific word for depression in the Tokelauan language but an illness involving extraordinary sadness does exist. Ordinary sadness is regarded as just ‘part of life’ but extraordinary sadness can be classified as “unwellness” or “a burden". Tokelauans use several indicators to recognise someone with extraordinary sadness. The main indicator is isolation and withdrawal from family and community activities as well as absence from work and church. Tokelauan men are more likely to hold their feelings in and may indicate their unwellness with increased alcohol use or violent tendencies. For Tokelauans, privacy and pride are important cultural characteristics and these may be barriers to recognising sadness. The shame and loss of status associated with displaying sadness may also cause a person to hide his or her feelings. Often the smiling Tokelauan face becomes the mask that hides sadness. The main causes of extraordinary sadness are the changes caused by western influences on the Tokelauan culture and the stress of poverty and unemployment. The family, community and church are all important avenues for caring and for counselling the Tokelauan with extraordinary sadness. Discussion: This research documents some of the features of depression experienced by Tokelauans that are different from those that doctors may be trained to detect and manage using a western biomedical model. This research demonstrates the complexity of relationships between the patient, their illness and their culture that impacts on how the illness manifests. Similarly, this research indicates that therapy must have a holistic approach that includes the family, the community and that accounts for the patient’s spiritual beliefs. Te Vaka Atafaga is a metaphor for Tokelauan wellbeing involving a canoe. Its structure is representative of different components of health, and it provides a holistic model for the general practitioner involved in assessing and treating Tokelau Islanders with a possible depressive illness. The model does not exclude the use of western medical approaches, but it emphasises the need for social disharmony to be corrected to allow healing. Conclusion: The presentation and management of depression in Tokelauans may differ from that of other patients in a general practice setting. The Te Vaka Atafaga model provides the general practitioner with a tool to assess the different components that comprise health in the Tokelauan. A holistic approach involving the family, spirituality and correction of social factors along with palagi medicine is then necessary for treatment.

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  • Rib Fractures in Infants: Retrospective Survey of Fractures and Biomechanical Study.

    Blackburne, William Bligh (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    Literature suggests that rib fractures are highly associated with abuse and the present understanding is that antero-posterior compression associated with the ‘shaken baby syndrome’ is their cause. However, this mechanism rests on a number of assumptions with little experimental data to support them. Recent work using a porcine model of fractures suggests that, in the case of lateral fractures this may be highly unlikely. This work shows a feasible alternate mechanism, that of blunt force trauma (BFT), for the cause of these lateral fractures. A piglet model is used and shows the ease with which ribs fracture as a result of BFT, compared to the difficulty of fracture seen previously in compressive injury. The initial development of a computational simulation of these ribs for use in injury scenarios is also outlined here. Secondly, skeletal surveys from New Zealand’s largest children’s care facility, Starship Hospital, were examined to give a picture of non-accidental injury (NAI) and how its patterns compare with accidental injury in New Zealand. It has been found that, as in foreign studies, there are a number of lesions highly associated with abuse and these include rib fractures, which are highly specific (97%) for NAI. Unusuallyhigh frequencies of lateral-type rib fractures (46.4%) were found and half the cases were found to be unilateral. This is not wholly in line with the currently accepted idea that rib fracture is due to antero-posterior compression, in which bilateral, posterior fractures are said to be most common. Overall, this work brings into question the traditional mechanism of rib fractures, provides a highly useful snapshot of abusive injury in NZ and also sets a strong foundation for future work.

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  • A Qualitative Exploration of the Barriers and Enablers to New Zealand City Councils Developing and Implementing Food and Nutrition Policy

    Gower, Jacinda Ruth (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: Diet- related non communicable diseases and obesity are the biggest cause of ill health and mortality in New Zealand. Current government public health approaches do not appear to be effective in preventing non- communicable diseases and obesity as rates continue to increase. To combat the obesity epidemic research suggests government regulative policy which positively shapes food environments is needed. New Zealand’s current government’s ideologies’ reject public health nutrition regulative policy so are unlikely to be an effective agency to reduce obesity and non- communicable disease rates. Local Authorities have been proposed as an alternative government organisation that has the ability to positively influence local food environments through developing and implementing food and nutrition policy. However, no New Zealand Local Authorities have food and nutrition policy and currently, there is no research regarding Local Authority food and nutrition policy in a New Zealand context. Objective: This research project aims to explore factors which enable, hinder and influence New Zealand City Councils’ ability to develop and implement food and nutrition policy. Methods: This public health nutrition study is set in a policy context so qualitative research was used to explore the social and organisational factors influencing City Councils’ development of food and nutrition policy that supports health food environments. Semi- structured in depth telephone and face-to-face interviews were carried out with 21 participants with representation from each of the 12 City Councils and Auckland Council. These interviews consisted of nine core questions which were informed by a review of the literature. All interviews were recorded and selectively transcribed. A general inductive approach was used to thematically analyse the data to categorise it into six major themes underpinned by minor themes. A single case study design was used to portray emerging themes and to understand the context of New Zealand City Councils’ capacity to develop food and nutrition policy. Results: The results of this study identified an array of factors which influenced City Councils’ decision making to develop and implement food and nutrition policy to improve local food environments. Six overarching categories emerged as being prominent to explaining City Councils’ capacity to influence food environments. These categories are council resources, community influence, political factors, long term plans, national-level governments and research, case studies and nutrition guidelines. All of these influencing factors had the potential to act as a barrier or an enabler dependant on the local political environment. The main finding is City Councils’ have the capacity to develop food and nutrition policy when there is a widespread awareness and prioritisation of food environment issues in the agenda of three key groups; the community, elected members of council and council staff. Conclusion: New Zealand City Councils capacity to develop and implement food and nutrition policy is determined by a host of external, internal, national and local influence factors. A multi pronged approach of strong local political support, partnerships, credible champions and local or case study research are needed for food environment issues to be addressed by City Councils through the LTP and subsequent food and nutrition policy. To achieve this New Zealand’s public health community need to be active advocates at a City Council level and be involved with activating communities and raising awareness around food and nutrition issues.

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  • The role of cytoskeletal elements in the trafficking of KCa3.1 to the basolateral membrane of polarised epithelial cells

    Farquhar, Rachel (2015)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    The intermediate conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ channel (KCa3.1) is targeted to the basolateral membrane in polarized epithelia where it plays an essential role in promoting trans-epithelial ion transport. KCa3.1 is found in many tissues in the body and plays an important role in many physiological and pathological processes (e.g., regulation of salt and fluid transport in the gastrointestinal tract, atherosclerosis, sickle cell disease and asthma). Functional KCa3.1 must be targeted to the basolateral membrane, a process that is dependent upon proper cytoskeletal function. The cytoskeleton is comprised of actin and microtubule filaments. Actin filaments are comprised of polymerised G-actin monomers bound to form filamentous F-actin strands. Microtubules are long filamentous structures comprised of tubulin subunits, made from α-tubulin and β-tubulin monomers. This study examines the role of microfilaments and microtubules in the trafficking of KCa3.1 to the basolateral membrane of polarised epithelial cells. To address this, Fischer Rat Thyroid cells grown on filter inserts to form a confluent epithelium were stably transfected with the Biotin Ligase Acceptor Peptide (BLAP)-KCa3.1 construct. This construct allowed for the selective labeling of basolaterally expressed KCa3.1 using streptavidin. Selective labeling of membrane bound KCa3.1 allowed for the measurement of changes in KCa3.1 expression, in response to drugs that disrupt cytoskeletal elements, to reflect changes in KCa3.1 located on the basolateral membrane. This measure allowed for a direct correlation to be drawn between targeted disruption of specific cytoskeletal elements, e.g. microtubules and microfilaments, and expression of basolaterally-located KCa3.1. PCR was used to determine the mRNA expression levels of KCa3.1 in stably transfected cell lines and SDS-PAGE techniques were employed to investigate protein expression levels of KCa3.1. Western blotting was used to explore the effects of Cytochalasin D (Cyto D), Latrunculin A (Lat A), and Myosin Light Chain Inhibitor-7 (ML-7) which inhibit the function of actin (Cyto D, Lat A) and myosin light chain kinase (ML-7) respectively. Toxicity tests were performed to determine cell survival under a range concentrations of 0-20 μM (0, 3, 5 hr) for all three drugs with cell survival reduced with 20 μM at t = 5 hr for Cyto D and Lat A. Cyto D was administered over intervals of 0, 3 and 5 hr at 10 μM resulting in a decreased relative expression of KCa3.1 (compared to control) of 0.6±0.14 at t = 3 and further decrease in the expression of the channel at t = 5 hr with a relative expression of 0.12±0.035 (n = 5, p < 0.05). Lat A was also administered over intervals of 0, 3 and 5 hr at 10 μM causing a relative reduction in the expression of KCa3.1 at the basolateral membrane compared to the control. At t = 3 hr the expression of KCa3.1 was reduced to 0.7±0.065 and decreased to 0.3±0.049 at t = 5 hr (n = 4, p < 0.001). Finally, cells treated with microtubule inhibitor ML-7 showed a relative reduction in KCa3.1 expression of 0.55±0.12 at t = 3 hr, the expression was further decreased to 0.33±0.11 at t = 5 hr compared to the control. These data confirm that microtubules and microfilaments of the cytoskeleton are crucial in trafficking KCa3.1 to the basolateral membrane of polarised epithelial cells.

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  • Strength and flexibility of the hip, knee and ankle associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome : a case-control study

    Stuhlmann, Naomi Helen (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND: Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) has been defined as anterior knee pain in the absence of pathology, and a complex multifactorial aetiology. The identification of modifiable intrinsic factors variables which can be measured in a clinical setting would be useful for practitioners who manage people with PFPS. OBJECTIVES: To identify intrinsic variables associated with PFPS using physical examination measures of known reliability. Design: Cross sectional, case-control. Setting: laboratory. PARTICPANTS: Twenty participants (n=10 symptomatic, n=10 asymptomatic). Asymptomatic participants were matched to symptomatic participants by age, gender, height, weight and level of recent physical activity (RPAQ). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants were assessed for hip flexion, quadriceps length, iliotibial band length, isometric hip internal and external rotation strength, and the range of ankle dorsiflexion during weight bearing. RESULTS: Isometric strength measures (hip internal and external rotation strength) were significantly different between symptomatic and asymptomatic participants and were associated with 'very large' effects (d>2.5). CONCLUSIONS: The strong association between hip weakness and PFPS, indicates the importance of considering this factor in a clinical setting. Measures used in this research were clinically appropriate and reliable to assess strength and flexibility measures associated with PFPS.

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  • Clinical reasoning in osteopathy : an investigation of diagnostic hypothesis generation for patients with acute low back pain

    Roots, Simon Ashley (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND: The clinical reasoning strategies employed in healthcare have been well established in a wide range of health professions. Currently, there is little literature pertaining to the diagnostic process of osteopaths and the clinical reasoning strategies utilised in osteopathy. AIM:To investigate the processes of clinical reasoning utilised by osteopaths in the diagnostic hypothesis generation for patients with acute low back pain. METHODS: Two methods were employed: a thematic analysis in conjunction with content analysis which involved a novel ‘consultation mapping’ approach. Three osteopaths were video recorded taking a case history and performing examination procedures. Following conclusion of each consultation, participants viewed a video recording of the consultation, and provided a commentary which was audio recorded. All audio and video recordings were later transcribed for analysis. RESULTS: Three themes were identified from the data which broadly represented three existing clinical reasoning strategies: Implicit cognitive evaluations not apparent to an external observer (pattern recognition); Iterative processing of cues assembled through clinical interactions (hypothetico-deductive reasoning); Collaborative interaction between patient and practitioner (collaborative reasoning). Each consultation was then ‘mapped’, and content analysis showed dynamic transitioning between three levels of pattern recognition (‘light’, ‘moderate’, ‘heavy’) of hypothetico-deductive reasoning. Collaborative reasoning occurred consistently at the commencement and conclusion of each consultation. CONCLUSIONS:The clinical reasoning strategies employed by osteopaths in this study were pattern recognition, hypothetico-deductive reasoning and collaborative reasoning. Each strategy was characterised by a theme which described its meaning.

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  • Hybrid infill : the search for an affordable housing solution

    Taylor, Maria (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    The provision of quality, affordable housing is vital for our communities and country. The current housing shortage, and lack of quality, affordable housing in Auckland provides the foundation for the relevant and significant inquiry. The intensification of land within the city boundaries through infill development, the implementation of prefabricated construction methods for improved construction efficiency and productivity, and the exploration of smaller, more efficiently designed dwellings; are three ways identified and examined as methods to increase the supply of quality, affordable housing. The review and analysis of literature and precedent outlined the many benefits of prefabrication in the provision of quality, affordable housing, and it’s greatest defeat in the limitations that are typically addressed through site-specific design. Recent literature has identified the hybrid, panel + module typology of prefabrication, largely unexplored in New Zealand, to have the greatest potential to incorporate responsive, site- specific design, for better architectural outcome, with the efficiencies that prefabrication has been proven to provide. The development of the hybrid system for application to a unique infill, social housing programme, with diverse and wide-ranging site conditions, provides the constraints and requirements of the inquiry. The design process documented provides a model to the methods and considerations required in the development of a hybrid prefabricated system for quality, site specific, affordable, infill housing in Auckland.

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  • "Too much 'yellow' in the melting pot?" : perceptions of the New Zealand Chinese, 1930-1960.

    Law, Penelope (1994)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    i, 65 leaves ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 61-65). Typescript (photocopied)

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  • Diet of feral cats (Felis catus) in pastoral habitats of Canterbury, Otago and Southland : functional and numerical responses to rabbit availability

    Borkin, Kerry Maree (1999)

    Other thesis
    University of Otago

    v, 63 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. "April 1999." University of Otago department: Zoology. University of Otago Wildlife Management Report no. 105.

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