13,302 results for Masters

  • Symbols of recovery : the impact of earthquake images on vigilance

    Hancock, Nicola Jane (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This study explores the impact post-earthquake images from Christchurch, New Zealand inserted into a task requiring sustained attention or vigilance have on performance, selfreports of task-focus, and cerebra activity using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The images represent the current state of Christchurch; a city struggling to recover from devastating earthquakes that peaked in February, 2011, killing 185 people, injuring hundreds more and causing widespread and massive damage to infrastructure, land and building in the region. Crowdsourcing was used to gather a series of positive and negative photos from greater Christchurch to be employed in the subsequent experiment. Seventy-one Christchurch resident participants (51 women, 20 men) then took part in a vigilance task with the sourced images embedded to assess possible cognitive disruptions. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: embedded positive pictures, embedded negative pictures, or embedded scrambled image controls. Task performance was assessed with signal detection theory metrics of sensitivity A’ and β’’. Individuals viewing the positive images, relating to progress, rebuild, or aesthetic aspects within the city, were overall more conservative or less willing to respond than those in the other conditions. In addition, positive condition individuals reported lower task focus, when compared to those in the control condition. However, indicators of cerebral activity (fNIRS) did not differ significantly between the experimental groups. These results combined, suggest that mind wandering events may be being generated when exposed to positive post-earthquake images. This finding fits with recent research which indicates that mind-wandering or day dreaming tends to be positive and future oriented. While positive recovery images may initiate internal thoughts, this could actually prove problematic in contexts in which external attention is required. While the actual environment, of course, needs to recover, support agencies may want to be careful with employing positive recovery imagery in contexts where people actually should be paying attention to something else, like operating a vehicle or machinery.

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  • The impact of the Internet on small firms

    Martin, Ross A. (1998)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Several researchers have designed frameworks to model and analyse impacts of the Internet on firms. This research takes one such framework aimed at small firms (Lymer et al., 1997b) and attempts to validate its usefulness by comparing it to similar and conflicting models, and by applying it to impacts collected from both the literature and from four case studies of small firms. The findings suggest that several changes to Lymer et al.'s (1997b) framework are necessary to make the model more effective and more practical for researchers and practitioners. A revised Internet impacts model is proposed that incorporates these changes. Preliminary evaluation has been performed on the revised model, resulting in the conclusion that the study makes a valuable contribution to the area of Internet research by significantly enhancing the usability and analytical usefulness of Lymer et al.'s (1997b) Internet impacts model.

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  • Spatial patterns in excess winter morbidity among the elderly in New Zealand

    Brunsdon, Nicholas David (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    It has been established in New Zealand and internationally that morbidity and mortality tends to rise during colder winter months, with a typical 10-20% excess compared to the rest of the year. This study sought to investigate the spatial, temporal, climatic and demographic patterns and interactions of excess winter morbidity (EWMb) among the elderly in New Zealand. This was achieved through analysis of acute hospital admissions in New Zealand between 1996 and 2013 for all patients over the age of 60 with an element of circulatory or respiratory disease (N=1,704,317) including a primary diagnosis of circulatory (N=166,938) or respiratory (N=62,495) disease. A quantitative approach included ordinary least squares and negative binomial regression, graphical analysis and age standardisation processes. Admission rates and durations were regressed against a set of 16 cold spell indicators at a national and regional scale, finding significant spatial variation in the magnitude of EWMb. EWMb was ubiquitous across New Zealand despite climatic variation between regions, with an average winter excess of 15%, and an excess of 51% for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Statistically significant relationships were found between hospital admission durations and cold spells up to 28 days prior; however the magnitude would not be expected to have a significant impact on hospital resources. Nonetheless, there is potential for preventative public health strategies to mitigate less severe morbidity associated with cold spells. Patients over the age of 80 were particularly vulnerable to EWMb; however socioeconomic deprivation and ethnicity did not affect vulnerability. Patients residing in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation or identifying with Maori or Pacific Island ethnicity experienced significantly shorter admissions than other groups, and this warrants further investigation. Further investigation into winter COPD exacerbations and non-climatic factors associated with the EWMb are recommended. A comprehensive understanding of EWMb will enable preventative measures that can improve quality of life, particularly for the elderly population.

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  • Kopi, Cooperatives, and Compliance: A Case Study of Fair Trade in Aceh, Indonesia

    Walker, Heather (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A development initiative at its core, fair trade endeavors to provide better trading conditions for disadvantaged producers in the world market system, such as smallholder coffee farmers, who face a volatile market and prices that have yet to recover from a deep price crisis in the early 2000s. With the onset of labeling and certification, fair trade entered the mainstream by the late 1990s, and has continued to demonstrate strong growth in sales. Moreover, new producer organizations are becoming certified in an expanding number of countries, and fair trade coffee is expanding beyond its traditionally dominant productive center in Latin America. To explore how fair trade is established, and interacts with, new producer contexts, a case study was performed with five fair trade certified coffee cooperatives in Aceh, Indonesia, all of whom have gained certification within the last 10 years, was performed. This thesis sought to understand the particularities behind how fair trade reached Aceh, what factors influenced its implementation, and how coffee producers experience their participation in the fair trade movement. Further, particular attention was paid to the practice and formation of the cooperatives’ structures and policies; fair trade requires that coffee farmers are organized into democratically owned and governed cooperatives, an institution relatively unpracticed in Indonesia.

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  • Imprimōtype: A new experience of analogue photography through tactility, tangibility and sacrifice

    Kong, Sarah Rhonda (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis began as a critical response to digital photography. It takes an in depth look at the transition of photography from analogue to digital, and the impact of this transition on the culture of photography. This design-led research features a series of experiments that cross and merge the boundaries between digital and analogue photographic processes to offer an alternate experience of photography by tangibly re-evaluating the relationship between the camera and the photograph. Finally, this thesis leads to the creation of the ‘Imprimōtype,’ (Literally ‘print type’) a sacrificial camera that provides an alternate experience of photography rich in physical tangibility, tactility, anticipation, reward and emotional connection to the resulting photograph that comes only with temporal investment and connection in the photographic process.

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  • Diverse Education for Diverse Economies: The relevance of Rural Training Centres in the Solomon Islands

    Fleming, Kathryn (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Education is considered the cornerstone of development, essential to achieving economic and social goals. Under the powerful global education agenda, the western model of formal education has been implemented hegemonically in developing countries. This model largely prepares young people for a role in the formal economy in an urban environment, overlooking fundamental questions of purpose and relevance for local context. In the Solomon Islands, where 85% of the population reside rurally, such opportunities often do not exist or reflect local livelihoods. Rural Training Centres (RTCs) are informal vocational institutions that sit outside of the dominant education paradigm by aiming to prepare young people for local livelihoods. Through informal and vocational learning, they offer an alternative to urbanisation, supporting self derived and locally based livelihoods. Paradoxically, for this very reasons they are often disregarded at the government and donor level. From a postdevelopment perspective, this thesis considers the roles and relevance of RTCs under a wider conceptualisation of economy and knowledge than is applied in mainstream development practice. Using qualitative and ethnographical methodologies, this research investigates local understandings of RTCs as an education alternative through the voices of young people, women and the wider community. The inter-related aspects: economy, education, and development, are considered in two case study communities, Gizo and Vatu, providing a semi-urban/rural comparison. Using a Diverse Economies Framework (Gibson-Graham, 2005), this thesis reveals a more realistic picture of the myriad of activities that support local livelihoods exists. The formal economy is found to play a secondary role to informal and direct economic practices. Similarly, under a pluralistic view of education that accepts the legitimacy of traditional, cultural and indigenous knowledge, the aspirations of young people are found to be deeply rooted ‘at home’. Yet, this research argues that they do not conform to a simplistic modern-traditional dichotomy. Rather they reflect cultural hybridity, a third space ‘in between’ where different knowledges are transformed and negotiated. Despite criticisms, RTCs were positively viewed at a community level. They were considered to fill a vital gap left by the formal education system, support local livelihoods and help stem the flow of urban migration. They also offer an opportunity to support women in existing gender roles, as well as expand existing cultural educational boundaries. However, RTCs are facing pressure to standardise and formalise in order to attract greater government and donor funding. This reflects wider tensions in development policy and practice that favour the universal and the global over the local, and brings to light the inherent power disparity in the aid relationship.

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  • Assessing the motivations of New Zealand’s International Interventions: From Practice to Theory

    Mitchell, Matthew (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Since the end of the Cold War New Zealand has participated in numerous international interventions, both within the Asia-Pacific region and further afield. As a small state with limited resources and influence what have been the primary motivating factors that have influenced New Zealand’s decisions to intervene? Can the decisions to intervene be best explained by realism, liberalism, constructivism, or a combination of these theories? This essay will assess the motivating factors for New Zealand’s involvement in international interventions by analysing four case studies where New Zealand participated in an intervention – Bosnia, East Timor, Afghanistan, and the Solomon Islands. This essay will also assess whether the motivating factors for intervening within New Zealand’s geographic region differ from those outside its region, and whether there is a difference in approach taken by the two main political parties in New Zealand – Labour and National. The essay concludes that while there were elements of realism and constructivism in the decisions to intervene, liberalism provides that best explanation for the decision to intervene in three of the four case studies. The fourth case study, the Solomon Islands, is best explained by the realist factors of regional security and upholding New Zealand’s relationship with Australia. The essay finds that while the motivations for intervening in three of the four case studies were similar, the motivations for intervening within the Asia-Pacific region were slightly more realist. The motivations to intervene were similar regardless if National or Labour were in government.

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  • Interpersonal conflict between employees and managers: The Chinese immigrants experiences of acculturation in New Zealand public sector workplaces

    Wang, Yi (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    With the increase in globalisation and migration, the future workplace will become more culturally diverse. Significant literature points out that culturally diverse workplaces can create organisational conflict because of the workers’ differences in cultural values, attitudes, and work styles. New Zealand, like other countries, has also faced the challenge of an increasingly diverse workforce. Although the associations between cultural diversity and conflict management styles in different countries have been widely discussed, the existing literature focuses more on comparison studies with participants who are from different countries. There is a lack of research investigating Chinese employees who live overseas and work in overseas organisations. Research on how young Chinese migrants cope with conflict in New Zealand organisations is scarce. The purpose of this study is to explore Chinese migrant employees’ preferences for styles of conflict management and the reasons they perceive these styles, as well as the influence of acculturation and ethnic identity orientation. The study argues that acculturation, the process of cultural change, is one of the factors that relates to the use and perceptions of different conflict management styles. This study explores how immigrants who have acculturated, learned and adopted their host society’s cultural characteristics, perceived and faced conflict issues in the workplace. More particularly, this study investigates how the role of ethnic identity influences different conflict management styles. A qualitative phenomenological method is employed in this study to obtain a deeper picture of conflict phenomena among Chinese migrant employees who have been through the process of acculturation. This method is useful for describing the lived experiences of conflict and acculturation. The data consisted of twenty one in-depth interviews with Chinese migrant employees from mainland China who work in twenty different New Zealand public sector organisations. The findings of this study reveal that due to their acculturation experiences, interviewees have developed an integrated bicultural identity that is rooted in good feelings about being New Zealanders, accompanied by a positive sense of Chinese ethnic identity. They view their own identity as a combination of both New Zealand and Chinese identities. Depending on the situation and the nature of their interpersonal relationships, interviewees can switch between these two identities without a problematic struggle. Based on the influence of this integrated bicultural identity, the study finds that young Chinese migrant employees prefer to use a combination of integrating and compromising conflict management styles. The tendency to use integrating conflict management is highly influenced by their adaptation to New Zealand cultural values and attitudes. Being New Zealanders gives these bicultural Chinese migrant employees confidence to confront and integrate conflict directly, and solve it in cooperative manner. The findings also show that Chinese beliefs and values continue to be maintained. The principles of Confucianism are deeply rooted and included showing mutual respect, avoiding embarrassment to other parties, controlling emotions or psychological impulses. Under the influence of being Chinese, young Chinese migrant employees incline towards compromising style depending on the circumstances. However, if integrating and compromising styles fail to resolve the conflict because the other party refuses harmony and escalates the conflict, young Chinese migrant employees would change their strategies by asking for third-party interventions and seeking for a sense of justice and fairness.

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  • Autonomously Learning About Meaningful Actions from Exploratory Behaviour

    Newton, Heidi (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The thesis addresses the problem of creating an autonomous agent that is able to learn about and use meaningful hand motor actions in a simulated world with realistic physics, in a similar way to human infants learning to control their hand. A recent thesis by Mugan presented one approach to this problem using qualitative representations, but suffered from several important limitations. This thesis presents an alternative design that breaks the learning problem down into several distinct learning tasks. It presents a new method for learning rules about actions based on the Apriori algorithm. It also presents a planner inspired by infants that can use these rules to solve a range of tasks. Experiments showed that the agent was able to learn meaningful rules and was then able to successfully use them to achieve a range of simple planning tasks.

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  • City pigeons : Kererū (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) in the urban Dunedin environment : abundance, habitat selection and rehabilitation outcomes

    Daglish, Lisa (2005)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    viii, 180 leaves :ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. Typescript. University of Otago department: Zoology.

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

    Edgar, Philip Gerard (1995)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

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

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  • An examination of some relationships between the New Zealand jurisprudence of shared, equal parental rights and responsibilities & the gendered hierarchy of care 1994-2002

    Evans, Marian J. (2004)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    xiv, 258 leaves :ill. (some col.), maps ; 30 cm. Bibliography: leaves 184-207. University of Otago department: Law.

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  • Effects of ocean acidification on fertilisation and early development in polar and temperate marine invertebrates

    Ericson, Jessica (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    243 leaves ; 30 cm. Includes bibliography. University of Otago department: Marine Science.

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  • Children's insights into family discipline

    Dobbs, Terry Anne (2005)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    v, 155 leaves :ill. (some col.), maps ; 30 cm. Bibliography: leaves 126-127. University of Otago department: Children's Issues Centre. "January, 2005".

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  • A stochastic computer simulation of island group colonisation by Rattus norvegicus in small near shore island systems : specifically Tia island and the Boat group

    Coutts, Shaun Raymond (2005)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    212 leaves :port ; 30 cm. [Bibliography] : l.201-2121. January 2005'. University of Otago department: Zoology

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  • The nutrient and photosynthetic eco-physiology of Undaria pinnatifida, with applications to aquaculture

    Dean, Paul Robert (1998)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    xiii, 173 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Marine Science.

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  • The dilemmas of displacement : revitalisation and gentrification in inner city Wellington, New Zealand

    Crack, Charlotte Emily (2005)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    viii, 132 leaves :col. ill., maps ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Geography.

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  • The Protean grid : Milan Mrkusich, formalism and change

    Craig, Chrissie (2004)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    viii, 103 leaves :charts, music ; 30 cm. Bibliography: leaves 88-89. University of Otago department: Art History and Theory. "December 2004."

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  • "Don't just visit. Live it!" : a descriptive study of Japan exchange and teaching programme participants' experiences in Miyazaki prefecture

    Doering, Timothy Adam (2007)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Description: v, 166 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm. Notes: "June 28, 2007" -- t.p. University of Otago department: Tourism. Thesis (M. Tour.)--University of Otago. Includes bibliographical references.

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  • Sustainability and neoliberalisation in the political blogosphere

    Zhou, Zhou (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The following research analyses popular political blogs from the US and New Zealand, focussing on the way environmental sustainability is conceptualised and the way neoliberalism is embedded within these conceptualisations. This study follows from the recognised importance of sustainability, its tense relationship with neoliberalisation, the significance of media in communicating sustainability, and the emergence of political blogs as both purported supplement to, and contester of, mainstream media.

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