7,813 results for 2010, Masters

  • A Palladium-Catalysed Allylic Alkylation Cascade: Towards the Total Synthesis of Thromboxanes A₂ and B₂

    Turner, Claire Alison (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The design and development of new chemical reactions is crucial to the ongoing success of organic synthesis research. In this work the scope and utility of a recently discovered regioselective palladium-catalysed allylic alkylation (Pd-AA) cascade was explored through increasing the range of non-symmetric pyran-based biselectrophiles and β-dicarbonyl bis-nucleophiles that can be used in this reaction. Four differentially protected tri-substituted dihydropyrans based on glucose were synthesised, including 2,3-unsaturated silyl glycosides and α,β-unsaturated lactones. These substrates were assessed as bis-electrophiles in the Pd-AA cascade. One silyl glycoside bis-electrophile, possessing a carbonate leaving group, was shown to be an excellent substrate for reaction with a number of cyclic bis-nucleophiles. Furthermore, a series of regioisomeric methylated 4-hydroxycoumarins were synthesised, tested and found to be equally effective as bis-nucleophiles in the Pd-AA cascade with both acyclic and cyclic bis-electrophiles. Advances made during this research include a novel Ferrier reaction with silanol nucleophiles, which was found to produce silyl glycosides, albeit in low yields. Additionally, several Perlin aldehydes were generated by the Ferrier-type hydrolysis of 3,4,6-tri-O-acetyl-D-glucal and led to the discovery of discrepant structural assignments in the literature. Furthermore, a ¹³C NMR shielding template was generated as a tool for the stereochemical assignment of tri-substituted dihydropyrans. An extended variant of the Pd-AA cascade was achieved by employment of the bisnucleophile Meldrum’s acid with the optimal tri-substituted bis-electrophile in the presence of H₂O. The reaction afforded a γ-butyrolactone that could serve as a potential intermediate en route to the synthesis of the biologically interesting compounds thromboxanes A₂ and B₂. This extended Pd-AA cascade, although currently unoptimised, is capable of performing five synthetic transformations in one-pot and holds the potential to improve on the current syntheses of the thromboxanes.

    View record details
  • The question of survival: understanding the impact of liberalisation and development on indigenous peoples in Mindanao, Philippines

    Pueblos, Adora Penaco (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis aims to study the impact of mineral resource development on the indigenous peoples in the Philippines, focussing primarily on the consequential effect of the destruction of their ancestral domains and loss of access to their sacred spaces as it relates to their survival. Further, it seeks to bring to the widest attention possible their little known struggles against the invading and destructive forces of development, particularly large-scale mining, in their traditional areas. Most of all, this research ambitions to (1) debunk the prevailing research trend of dismissing emotions as irrational, illogical and useless in research because it is unquantifiable, and therefore, unscientific; and (2) critique Western-influenced paradigms on development by shedding light on the limitations of Eurocentric commitment to orthodox discourses that valorise resource development as supreme over cultural meanings and view environment as something completely detached from humans. In this study is presented the conflicting sides found at the heart of this age-old problem: the opposing views of government/mining companies on one hand, and those of the indigenous peoples on the other, their differing perceptions and stance on the issue of exploitation and control of natural resources found in ancestral domains. This research explored the deep emotional connections of indigenous peoples to their ancestral domains and how these are inexorably linked to their cultural identity. The data illustrate their profound sufferings in the hands of development agents and, paradoxically, the Philippine government itself through its open-arms policy on foreign investments and liberalised mining laws, heavily compounded by the unwarranted deployment of the military to ensure a smooth transition in approved mining areas. Using de-colonising methodologies and research approaches to tackle the issue, empirical data gathered are drawn from participant observation, semi-structured interviews and informal indigenous communities, and later organised according to themes evident upon collation of data. The findings are linked to a wider theoretical context and complemented with analyses of academic literature orientated to post-structural political ecology, emotional geographies and indigenous geographies that support the arguments in this study. As well as highlighting potential areas for future studies on indigenous peoples, this research points to the root cause of the problem to a people’s fundamental loss of power that denies them their control over their emotional spaces, resources and destiny. Accordingly, this fundamental relation needs to be given greater consideration in policy formulation and implementation of regulations that govern environment, natural resources and ancestral domains.

    View record details
  • "Winning Hearts and Minds"? An Exploration of New Zealand Peacekeeping, Masculinities, and Identity in the Solomon Islands

    Stevens, Kiri (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Close attention to the practices of masculinity, and individual negotiations of identity are often rendered invisible when exploring the implications of having soldiers engaged as peacekeepers in communities emerging from conflict. Using a feminist post-structural framework and qualitative interviews, I investigate whether involvement in peacekeeping is producing new gender and identity experiences for some New Zealand soldiers. Specifically, I explore the perceptions of two New Zealand Army Reserve Force soldiers who participated in the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. Additionally, I engage with the reflections of seven Solomon Islanders to understand the impacts that these new understandings of gender and identity might have for conflict resolution and gender equality in local communities. My research finds that the practices that soldiers value and consider most useful to be a successful soldier are changing as a result of their involvement in peacekeeping. New ideas about masculinity in the armed forces are being engendered by the need for soldiers to express a sense of equality and respect towards local people. The changing nature of soldering is resulting in the emergence of practices that offer alternatives and/or challenge hegemonic and racialized militarized masculinities over those more traditionally valued in the armed forces. However, at the same time, some soldiers continue to place value on practices associated with hegemonic militarized masculinities, such as a belief in the continued need to carry weapons to create security. I further suggest that Solomon Islanders interpreted participating soldiers' behaviours through broader historical-cultural narratives about different countries forces and their perceived cultural sensitivity. Therefore, soldiers' everyday resistances to racial narratives and militarized masculinities were important for creating a sense of trust and respect with local residents. However, while some Solomon Islanders welcomed the sense of security that soldiers produced, the carrying of weapons by soldiers undermined local conflict resolution practices. By focussing on men and masculinities, my research contributes to discussions about hegemonic and militarized masculinities in peacekeeping, and challenges ideas that see men, masculinities and other aspects of identity as static or unconnected to historical and social practices.

    View record details
  • Energy security in New Zealand politics: risk perceptions and political agendas

    Tyndall, Lucy Sarah Moor (2013)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Energy security is a subjective concept, as to different actors it invokes different meanings and thoughts about risk. It is highly political because it is at the heart of the debate between the environmental consequences of burning fossil fuels and the economic consequences of constraining this consumption. How a government perceives energy security provides an important indication of how they intend to approach the complexity of current energy issues. No more important is energy security to consider than in New Zealand. As this thesis will show, the term is used in New Zealand's policy-making circles but it is not referred to consistently. This thesis will use the Copenhagen School's Theory of Securitisation and delineate the key features of energy security in New Zealand politics. It will show that there has been two distinct rhetorical politicisations of energy security that argue for two divergent energy policies. First, the Clark Labour Government used a strategy of politicisation to bring energy security risks onto the political agenda. This sought to legitimise strong government leadership in the energy sector to support the development of robust climate change policy. The second rhetorical politicisation is at the heart of the Key National Government, where energy security is subsumed to the immediate concern for economic growth in the wake of the global economic recession. Thus there is a heightened concern for short-term risk to security of energy supply and New Zealand's role in contributing to global energy security. The nature of energy security issues and how they are integrated with other policy challenges remain in dispute. Consequently, energy security is a highly contested and politicised concept in New Zealand politics.

    View record details
  • 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.

    View record details
  • 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.

    View record details
  • 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.

    View record details
  • 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.

    View record details
  • 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.

    View record details
  • 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.

    View record details
  • Adapting a Hyper-heuristic to Respond to Scalability Issues in Combinatorial Optimisation

    Marshall, Richard J. (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The development of a heuristic to solve an optimisation problem in a new domain, or a specific variation of an existing problem domain, is often beyond the means of many smaller businesses. This is largely due to the task normally needing to be assigned to a human expert, and such experts tend to be scarce and expensive. One of the aims of hyper-heuristic research is to automate all or part of the heuristic development process and thereby bring the generation of new heuristics within the means of more organisations. A second aim of hyper-heuristic research is to ensure that the process by which a domain specific heuristic is developed is itself independent of the problem domain. This enables a hyper-heuristic to exist and operate above the combinatorial optimisation problem “domain barrier” and generalise across different problem domains. A common issue with heuristic development is that a heuristic is often designed or evolved using small size problem instances and then assumed to perform well on larger problem instances. The goal of this thesis is to extend current hyper-heuristic research towards answering the question: How can a hyper-heuristic efficiently and effectively adapt the selection, generation and manipulation of domain specific heuristics as you move from small size and/or narrow domain problems to larger size and/or wider domain problems? In other words, how can different hyperheuristics respond to scalability issues? Each hyper-heuristic has its own strengths and weaknesses. In the context of hyper-heuristic research, this thesis contributes towards understanding scalability issues by firstly developing a compact and effective heuristic that can be applied to other problem instances of differing sizes in a compatible problem domain. We construct a hyper-heuristic for the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem domain to establish whether a heuristic for a specific problem domain can be developed which is compact and easy to interpret. The results show that generation of a simple but effective heuristic is possible. Secondly we develop two different types of hyper-heuristic and compare their performance across different combinatorial optimisation problem domains. We construct and compare simplified versions of two existing hyper-heuristics (adaptive and grammar-based), and analyse how each handles the trade-off between computation speed and quality of the solution. The performance of the two hyper-heuristics are tested on seven different problem domains compatible with the HyFlex (Hyper-heuristic Flexible) framework. The results indicate that the adaptive hyper-heuristic is able to deliver solutions of a pre-defined quality in a shorter computational time than the grammar-based hyper-heuristic. Thirdly we investigate how the adaptive hyper-heuristic developed in the second stage of this thesis can respond to problem instances of the same size, but containing different features and complexity. We investigate how, with minimal knowledge about the problem domain and features of the instance being worked on, a hyper-heuristic can modify its processes to respond to problem instances containing different features and problem domains of different complexity. In this stage we allow the adaptive hyper-heuristic to select alternative vectors for the selection of problem domain operators, and acceptance criteria used to determine whether solutions should be retained or discarded. We identify a consistent difference between the best performing pairings of selection vector and acceptance criteria, and those pairings which perform poorly. This thesis shows that hyper-heuristics can respond to scalability issues, although not all do so with equal ease. The flexibility of an adaptive hyper-heuristic enables it to perform faster than the more rigid grammar-based hyper-heuristic, but at the expense of losing a reusable heuristic.

    View record details
  • Nutritional assessment of older New Zealand adults living in rest homes in the lower South Island

    Greenwood, Daniel (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: The increasing numbers of New Zealanders aged over 65 years will place a large burden on healthcare resources and rest home facilities around the country. Malnutrition is a major contributor to adverse health outcomes in the elderly, leading to higher mortality, morbidity and lower quality of life. There is very little information on the prevalence of malnutrition among New Zealand rest home residents, and there is not any information on the adequacy of nutrient intakes in this population. However, international data show very high rates of malnutrition and poor nutrient intakes amongst elderly residents in long-term low-level care. Objective: The specific aims of the study are in residents of two rest homes in the Lower South Island: i) To describe the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intakes; ii) To describe the prevalence of malnutrition risk; and, iii) To describe the prevalence of anaemia. Design: This cross-sectional study included 35 participants (14 men and 21 women), aged 69-102 years who lived in 2 rest homes in the lower South Island. Information on demographics, medical history, medications and supplement use were collected from medical notes. Malnutrition screening was done using two different screening tools- Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form and Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool. Cognitive function and mood were examined using the Clock Drawing Test and the Geriatric Depression Scale. Anthropometry measurements collected were; height, ulna length, weight, using standard protocols and body mass index (kg/m2) was calculated using average ulna length measurements. Dietary intake data were collected with 3-day food records, over 2 non-consecutive week days and one weekend day. Food intakes were matched to nutrient lines in the New Zealand Food Composition Tables to determine nutrient intakes. Nutrient intakes were then compared with current recommendations to estimate the prevalence of inadequate intakes. Blood and urine samples were taken for later analysis of biochemical nutritional status. Ethical approval was granted by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (Health) (H13/118). Results: The duration of stay in the rest homes ranged from 4 to 161 months (mean = 47months. Fifty percent of participants had a BMI over 25kg/m2, and 11% were underweight (BMI <20 kg/m2). Overall energy intakes were low, with 43% of men and 76% of women having suboptimal energy intakes (P=0.046 for differences between men and women). Sixty-three percent had inadequate protein intakes. Mean saturated fat intake was high, (16% of total energy intake), and average fibre intakes were low (19 g/day). All participants had suboptimal selenium and vitamin D intakes, although 83% of participants were on a monthly vitamin D supplement. Over 90% had inadequate intakes of calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin E, and over 20% had inadequate intakes of thiamin and vitamin B12. When assessed with the MNA-SF tool, 53% were classified as being at risk of malnutrition. When using the MUST screening tool, 39%, were classified as being at risk of malnutrition. Anaemia rates were high in both men and women (57%). Conclusion: We have shown that malnutrition and inadequate micronutrient intakes are prevalent in rest home residents in the lower South Island. More research and strategies are needed to ensure that rest home residents are gaining the appropriate level of nutrition required to stay healthy and functional for as long as possible. 

    View record details
  • Impacts of Early Childhood Education Social Obligations on Families and Whanau

    Randall, Judith (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores the impacts of ECE social obligations on affected families and whānau. In 2013 ECE social obligations were introduced through the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill. These obligations require beneficiaries to ensure their children are “enrolled in and attending an approved early childhood education programme from the age of three, until they start school” (Work and Income New Zealand, 2013c). A qualitative approach was utilised to hear the voices of those affected. Data was gathered through interviews with eight beneficiary families and two ECE centre managers who had knowledge of the impacts of obligations. Perceived impacts were analysed using thematic analysis. An examination of the discourses underpinning these obligations as represented in policy documents was undertaken utilising Bacchi’s (2000; 1999) “what’s the problem?” framework. The introduction of the ECE social obligation policy was found to have placed responsibility on beneficiaries but to have failed to adequately address barriers to ECE participation that families face. The study identified many barriers which impede a family’s ability to participate in ECE. These include transportation, cost, and provision of high quality, suitable ECE for their children available in their local community. Mandatory ECE does not provide the infrastructure needed to enable families to access ECE programmes as it does not address the accessibility, structural, and personal barriers that families face. The thesis argues that the context of incorporating ECE policy in Ministry of Social Development (MSD) legislation and the use of sanctions to ensure compliance is likely to lead to negative outcomes for children’s well-being. Policy-as-discourse analysis identified that social obligations were conceived in the context of reducing long-term benefit dependency. The three interrelated dominant discourses underpinning this policy, economic rationalisation, the positioning of beneficiaries as job seekers, and the positioning of children as vulnerable, has left the child as citizen invisible. I advocate that redefining the problem through a child as citizen lens could provide a framework for government to support families through barriers and address provision of high quality ECE. Three key suggestions are made. Firstly, utilisation of a child’s rights framework could ensure children’s rights are at the forefront of ECE policy. This would enable the primary emphasis to be on the welfare and best interests of all children. Within this framework this study identified the need for ECE matters to be in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, rather than MSD, in order to ensure consistency and accessibility to quality ECE for all children. Secondly, ECE engagement needs to be promoted through a positive model rather than sanctions. Government financial investment in integrated ECE services within local communities could aid families to overcome participation barriers and provide an ideal model for enabling families to access social services. Thirdly, government policy and funding needs to support provision of high quality ECE services that are responsive to their local communities. Such services are essential to encouraging ECE participation.

    View record details
  • Larval drift and development of amphidromous fishes, particularly the bluegill bully (Gobiomorphus hubbsi)

    Jarvis, Matthew Graham (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Amphidromy is a distinct life history strategy found in many aquatic organisms, involving a return migration (‘drift’) to a pelagic feeding habitat (usually the sea), undertaken by newly hatched larvae. The freshwater fish faunas of many Indo-Pacific islands are dominated by amphidromous species, yet they remain understudied, especially their larval stages. Amphidromous larvae hatch out exceptionally small and undeveloped, and so face a range of specific challenges during migration such as irreversible starvation and failed development if migration is delayed, as well as management difficulties due to their small size. Basic ecological knowledge such as timing and extent of migration remains unknown, but is crucial to the management of amphidromous species. It was therefore the aim of this thesis to further our knowledge on the larval ecology and migration of a number of New Zealand’s amphidromous fish species. This thesis examines patterns of larval drift and development, focussing on the bluegill bully (Gobiomorphus hubbsi), an endemic eleotrid. A distinct diel and spatial drift pattern was documented, with the vast majority of fish larvae migrating to sea within a few hours of sunset. It is suggested that targeting conservation measures within this window of drift represents a potentially beneficial management strategy for amphidromous species. Development and starvation of larvae was also examined, both through field studies and lab experiments. No distinct pattern of starvation was observed in larvae during their seaward migration, however larvae retained in freshwater failed to develop to as complete a state as those transferred to seawater, implying delayed migration may adversely affect amphidromous fishes developmentally, ultimately reducing their success upon reaching the sea. These results indicate both threats to amphidromous fishes during their larval migration, and a potential approach which may prove beneficial in conserving these fascinating and vulnerable species.

    View record details
  • The X-ray Crystal Structure of Alanine Racemase from Acinetobacter baumannii

    Davis, Emily (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic Gram-negative bacterium, which is a common cause of hospital acquired infections. Numerous antibiotic resistant strains exist, emphasising the need for developing new antimicrobials. Alanine racemase is a pyridoxal 5’-phosphate dependent enzyme, responsible for racemisation between enantiomers of alanine. As D-alanine is an essential component of the bacterial cell wall, its inhibition is lethal to prokaryotes, making it an excellent antibiotic drug target. In this study, A. baumannii alanine racemase (AlrAba) was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. A purification protocol was then developed involving ammonium sulphate fractionation and chromatography steps (Hydrophobic interaction, anion exchange and size exclusion). This purification protocol was able to produce 11.5 mg/L of AlrAba with a purity of greater than 95 %. The kinetic parameters of AlrAba were determined using spectrometric coupled enzyme activity assays. The Vmax and Km for the L-alanine to D-alanine reaction were found to be 220.5 U/mg and 1.56 mM, respectively. The Vmax and Km for the D-alanine to L-alanine reaction were found to be 11.3 U/mg and 0.56 mM, respectively. AlrAba was successfully crystallised and the structure was determined using X-ray crystallography. The structure was initially solved to 1.9 Å resolution via molecular replacement using the monomer of Pseudomonas aeruginosa alanine racemase as the search model. The final structure had an Rfactor of 19.7 % and an Rfree of 23.4 %. The resolution was then extended to 1.65 Å with an Rfactor of 20.6 % and Rfree of 23.6 %. The tertiary structure AlrAba was established to be a homodimer, in which the two monomers interact in a head to tail manner, resulting in two active sites per enzyme. Each active site is comprised of residues from the N-terminal domain of one monomer and the C-terminal domain of the second monomer. The N-terminal domain corresponds to residues 1 – 230, and consists of an eight-stranded α/β barrel. The C-terminal domain corresponds to residues 231 – 356, and mainly contains β-strands. Comparison of AlrAba with alanine racemases from closely related bacteria demonstrated a conserved overall fold, substrate entryway and active site. The structure of AlrAba will provide a template for future structure-based drug design studies.

    View record details
  • Living in Two Cities: Lessons for the church today from Augustine's City of God

    Broome, Deborah Louise (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Reading Augustine’s City of God through the lens of public theology, as well as in conversation with some of his leading commentators, provides an opportunity to discover how Augustine’s account of the two Cities (the civitas Dei and the civitas terrena) might inform the role of Christians in contemporary New Zealand, those who are living both as citizens in temporal society (the secular realm) and members of an alternative, Christian, society. There are parallels between Augustine’s society and our own which make a reading of City of God instructive for the Church today. The occasion of Augustine’s writing of City of God is briefly discussed, as is the theme of the two cities in the Bible and elsewhere in ancient literature. Attention is given to the nature of public theology and significant issues which public theologians must address, including the location of the debate (a secular public square), the language used, and the right to speak. A key notion is ‘seeking the welfare of the city’. Augustine is considered as public theologian and as apologist. The structure of City of God is analysed, key themes considered, and a précis offered which focuses on Augustine’s treatment of the two cities throughout the work. The nature of the City of God and the Earthly City are examined, in discussion with major commentators: the cities are societies defined by their members and by what their members love. The Church is not the City of God, but is rather a sign and an anticipation of it. Likewise, the Earthly City is not Rome, nor the State. The two cities are interwoven and intermixed, perplexae and permixtae with one another, and interact in this present age, in the saeculum. Central to Augustine’s thinking is that members of the City of God on pilgrimage in the world should not withdraw from that world but be involved in its society and institutions. Ways in which Christian communities might engage with the surrounding culture are examined, including the idea of work as loving service; and a number of lessons for the Church today are drawn. Dealing with ‘the other’ and encountering diversity are important issues. The relationship between the Church and the State is considered, as is the nature of the Church as public space in its own right. A deeper relationship between Christian faith and public engagement is encouraged. Central to the application of City of God to our current setting is the idea of the citizens of the civitas Dei on pilgrimage, and what it means to be part of a pilgrim city. Viewing City of God through an eschatological lens is crucial. A major conclusion is that ‘living in two cities’ is not merely a description of what it feels like for Christians today: it is an indication of how our life is actually meant to be.

    View record details
  • The Impact of Ocean Acidification on Parasite Transmission

    Harland, Hannah (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This study examines how ocean acidification affects parasite transmission. Ocean acidification is a global process which has already started to have negative impacts on the marine environment, and these are predicted to escalate with future acidification. These include impacts on reproduction, development, calcification, osmotic regulation, and survival. Parasites are key components of all marine ecosystems, influencing the survival of their hosts, and also indirectly affecting other species within marine communities. Many parasite species possess vulnerable life history stages, which are sensitive to abiotic changes. Intertidal parasites have therefore been proposed as good bio-indicators for the impacts of ocean acidification. This research used Maritrema novaezealandense and its first and second intermediate hosts as a model system to look at the impact of ocean acidification on parasite transmission. It was hypothesised that acidified conditions would affect transmission from the Zeacumantus subcarinatus snail host to the Paracalliope novizealandiae amphipod host. Parasite transmission was tested under three pH levels (pH 7.4, pH 7.6 and pH 8.1) and infection success within amphipod hosts was determined. Parasite infections in amphipods were significantly higher at the pH 7.4 level. Infection by this parasite may therefore increase with future ocean acidification. Amphipods were more vulnerable to parasitism under seawater acidification and may be the weak link in this model system. To see whether parasite genotypes vary in their sensitivity to acidified conditions, the transmission success of eight different parasite genotypes was examined. Genotype was not found to significantly impact infection success, with pH level being the main determinant of infection success, regardless of genotype. The virulence of parasite genotypes did vary, however, with some genotypes inducing greater amphipod mortality following infection. Parasites which are less virulent may therefore have an increased chance of reaching the definitive host and this could be particularly important when this sensitive amphipod species is faced with both the stress of parasitism and ocean acidification.

    View record details
  • Reconsidering The Nonhuman Animal: A Multidisciplinary Approach

    Muirhead, Eliza Kate (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Nonhuman animals exist to humans in a myriad of different ways. As companions or entertainers, as tools for scientific endeavour, within the natural environment and lastly, for the majority of people they exist as a source of consumable food or materials. To study the human-animal relationship, as it is becoming increasingly popular to do, is to confront the complexity of these relations. The popularity of such an endeavour is exemplified by the rise of a relatively new discourse of academic enquiry called human animal studies (HAS). HAS places the nonhuman animal in the spotlight of a multidisciplinary discussion which explores the question of what the human relationship with nonhuman animals ought to be. However, before this question can be posed, we must first understand the rich and interconnecting history of epistemology that has formed our contemporary ‘way of knowing’ the nonhuman animal. As a result of examining how certain disciplines have sculpted our contemporary understanding of the nonhuman animal we can also demonstrate the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach. It suggests that without a dialogue between particular fields, such as philosophy and science, we are limited in our ability to construct a set of ethics that may articulate what our proper relationship with nonhuman animals ought to be. This thesis provides a brief overview of the epistemology that has formed our current understanding of this question and situates the discussion within the field of science communication. In much the same way that the field of deep ecology first suggested in the 1980’s, the field of science communication suggests that in order to bring in to question the contemporary ‘way of knowing’ the nonhuman animal and therefore our current use and treatment of them, we must create a dialogue between the theoretical, social, political and historical (Naess 1984). This dissertation will review areas where a disconnect between the fields of science and philosophy have resulted in producing ‘untruths’ in the way that we ‘know’, ‘value’, ‘think’ and therefore ‘act’ for and ‘represent’ the nonhuman animal. It will show that there is a disconnect between what we know about the nonhuman animal through science, on their intelligence, ability to experience the world, and the way that ethics have developed to guide in how we ought to treat the nonhuman animal. The artefact component of this dissertation, Human|Animal a 25min documentary, is a reply to this call. It acts as a piece of science communication and aims to create a personal response in the audience in order to elicit a re-evaluation of the current way in which the nonhuman animal is utilised in western society. By engaging in a multidisciplinary dialogue the film asks the audience to consider, and potentially form an opinion, on what our current treatment of the nonhuman animal ought to be.

    View record details
  • Targets of the QseM Antiactivator in Mesorhizobium loti

    Major, Anthony Scott (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Quorum Sensing (QS) is a system used by bacteria to coordinate gene expression in response to population density using secreted diffusible signalling molecules, known as autoinducers. Many QS systems are similar to the model LuxR/I system originally discovered in Vibrio fischeri, where constitutive expression of the autoinducer synthase luxI produces acyl homoserine lactone molecules (AHLs) known as autoinducers at low levels. Once the population density reaches a threshold level, the regulator LuxR recognises and responds to the AHLs, activating downstream gene expression. These systems may also involve an antiactivator, that acts on the LuxR protein to prevent premature activation of the system by low AHL levels. Mesorhizobium loti strain R7A contains a mobile 502-kb symbiosis island known as ICEMlSymR7A which can transfer to nonsymbiotic mesorhizobia in both the laboratory and the environment. The excision and transfer of ICEMlSymR7A is directly controlled through QS via the actions of the the regulator TraR that acts in conjunction with AHL made by the autoinducer synthase TraI1. TraR activity in turn is controlled by the antiactivator QseM, through direct interaction with the TraR+AHL signalling molecule complex to block promoter activation. In this work, RT-qPCR was used to demonstrate that QseM had an effect on downstream TraR-regulated gene expression. Strong expression of the ICEMlSymR7A excisionase gene rdfS or the TrbC protease gene traF is known to have an inhibitory effect on cell growth. These genes are regulated by QS through the intermediacy of the msi172-msi171 gene product which is a single protein, FseA, that is produced by frame-shifting. A conjugation-based growth-inhibition assay involving introduction of a potentially lethal plasmid overexpressing target proteins into cells either overexpressing or not expressing QseM was developed to detect targets of QseM. The assay confirmed that TraR was a target of QseM and further suggested that FseA was a further target. RdfS and TraF were eliminated as targets. Bacterial two-hybrid analyses confirmed FseA as a target and narrowed the interacting portion down to the Msi172 portion of the frame-shifted protein. Furthermore β-galactosidase assays showed that FseA was unable to activate the rdfS promoter in the presence of QseM. Overall, this work confirmed the role of QseM as an antiactivator within the ICEMlSymR7A transfer system regulatory network and revealed it has more than one target. A 6-His tag was attached to QseM and a high concentration of protein was purified. Attempts at determining QseM interacants through Mass Spectrometry from a R7AΔqseM lysate proved difficult despite distinct bands being seen. QseM was subjected to circular dichroism that inferred that QseM is composed solely of α-helices, as is TraM, an antiactivator that targets TraR from the Agrobacterium tumefaciens QS system.

    View record details
  • A Study of Labour Negotiators: Orientation and Behaviour

    Ferguson, Kelly (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This exploratory study examined individual negotiator social value orientation (preferences for the distribution of negotiated outcomes) and individual negotiator behaviour (strategies and tactics) in a labour relations context. Interviews were conducted with professional labour-management negotiators and collective bargaining negotiations were observed. The findings reveal that the majority of negotiators are competitively oriented and that a number of negotiators have a mixed orientation (both competitive and collaborative). Furthermore, the study reveals that distributive strategies and tactics dominate in real-world negotiations. Most of the negotiators were found to adopt a distributive strategy exclusively. However, the study also revealed that a number of negotiators utilise both distributive and integrative behaviours (albeit within a predominantly distributive strategy). Furthermore, the study examined the rigour with which behaviours are implemented. Since distributive strategies and tactics were found to be dominant it was not possible to analyse the rigour of integrative behaviours. Notwithstanding, the strength of distributive strategies and tactics were analysed. The findings show that negotiators implement distributive tactics from along a continuum that ranges from “hard” to “soft”. In fact, the majority of negotiators were found to be operating at some mid-point along that continuum, adopting a “moderate” approach to distributive bargaining that was neither hard nor soft but fell somewhere in-between. Finally, this study considered whether orientation predicts negotiation behaviour. The findings show that competitively oriented negotiators adopt distributive strategies and tactics almost exclusively, whereas the negotiators with a mixed orientation were found to be far more likely to adopt some integrative behaviour (even though their overall approach is predominantly distributive). As mentioned, the findings reveal that distributive behaviours are implemented with different degrees of rigour. Competitively oriented negotiators were found to engage in hard, moderate and soft distributive bargaining. The majority of cases were categorised as moderate, but hard and soft approaches exist. In contrast, negotiators with a mixed orientation were found to implement a moderate distributive approach only. The implications for this research and avenues for future research are discussed.

    View record details