14,103 results for 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.

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  • 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.

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  • "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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Cross-grouping in mathematics

    Golds, Rosemary

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Improving mathematics teaching in primary schools is an ongoing research focus as achievement comparisons in international studies draws attention to shifting achievement levels and acknowledges that “improving educational outcomes is a vital economic necessity” (Wiliam, 2011, p. 26).‘Cross-grouping’ in primary school mathematics (whereby students are shifted across classes to provide ability grouping within a subject), has become a popular option in some New Zealand primary schools (Years 1-8) over the last few years. This is perhaps an unforeseen consequence of the Numeracy Professional Development Project (NDP) that was offered in more than 95% of New Zealand primary and intermediate schools between 2000 and 2009 (Holton, 2009). My present study has critically examined teacher perception of how (and if) cross-grouping in mathematics impacts upon teacher practice. Research from international studies supports the viewpoint that when ‘streaming’ (in the New Zealand primary school setting, known as ‘cross-grouping’) is adopted, teacher expectations of students are impacted upon and overall student achievement is not improved (Boaler, Wiliam, & Brown, 2000; MacIntyre & Ireson, 2002; Slavin, 1995). At present, there is very little research based in New Zealand schools on cross-grouping. This research may have implications for teaching as inquiry which is considered to be a characteristic of “effective pedagogy (which) requires that teachers inquire into the impact of their teaching on their students” (Ministry of Education, 2007, p. 35). A 2011 report from the Educational Review Office (ERO) (Education Review Office, 2011) suggested that many schools and teachers were still working towards gaining a clear understanding of the intent of teaching as inquiry. A qualitative approach applying an interpretivist paradigm underpinned this study, with a narrative inquiry process utilised which allowed the participants’ viewpoints to be heard. Interviews were conducted with eight teachers working in cross-grouped mathematics classes with students aged between eight and thirteen. Findings from the study revealed that all the teachers were in favour of cross-grouping, despite some teachers having some minor reservations. Some of the perceived benefits of cross-grouping were: it was more effective in meeting the needs of students and teachers, it allowed schools to ensure mathematics was actually taught each day, and it permitted teachers to become more confident in teaching a particular level of mathematics. It was also found that cross-grouping was likely to contribute to a more fixed notion of ability and was likely to have impacts upon teacher and student expectations. In most of the schools, there was little critical analysis undertaken into the reasons for or the validity of cross-grouping which suggests that this would be a useful future focus for school leaders and teachers. Results of the study suggest that questioning some long-held established practices (which are not necessarily evidence based) could be a useful starting point in developing a teaching as inquiry focus within a school. It is expected that this research will reveal ideas regarding the effects of streaming students in mathematics in primary schools and the impacts on flexible and responsive teacher practice. These findings may lead to a larger research project which considers aspects such as student attitude and self-belief or a comparison study which considers developing communities of mathematical inquiry (Ministry of Education, 2012) within some classes.

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  • The role of leadership in the experiences of Asian international students’ hospitality studies

    Dalosa, Diosdado

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research explores the experiences of Asian International Students (AIS) who were studying professional cookery at a private training institution after reports (Tan, 2011) indicated that AIS was being described in New Zealand as “a ghetto education destination” by students in order to express their disappointment during their study in New Zealand. The reports concerned the New Zealand export education industry. The Ministry of Education recognised that the sustainability of the New Zealand export education industry rested on educational and social factors including institutional capacity and client satisfaction. This study was undertaken, therefore, to enable deeper insights about issues which occur for AIS. A case study was designed to investigate one particular institution with a focus on the leadership behaviours, and interactions between host educators and students. Eight participants were interviewed. The participants were the institution leader, two tutors, and five AIS. The data obtained were analysed using QSR NVivo software. The study found that AIS’ attitudes about their study experiences are marked by a frustration that the skills they learnt from their host institution did not meet the demands of the hospitality industry. AIS believed that their host institution’s lack of adequate learning facilities prevented them from achieving their learning goal/s. The issues AIS raised in this study could, however, help educational leaders in designing adequate educational resources and facilities appropriate for AIS. In turn, this could influence overall perceptions about the study experiences of AIS in New Zealand.

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  • Efficacy of Secondary Level Short Term Study Abroad Programmes between Japan and New Zealand : The Case Study of Darfield High School

    Hayakawa, Sumiyo (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    International education has been a growing trend globally over the past thirty years. Since the late 1980s, the popularity of study abroad programme amongst Japanese students has also seen a significant increase following the international education trend. A more recent trend in international education has been the development of shorter term study abroad programmes and the value of these programmes has been widely recognised in Japan. In response to Japanese government initiatives, Japanese secondary schools have developed short-term programmes in order to develop students’ international awareness. As a result, a large number of Japanese high school students have participated in a short-term study abroad programme in the last 20 years. Japan and New Zealand have a long history of sister school relationships. By 2012, 191 Japanese high schools had established sister school relationships, and these school links have provided the impetus for exchange programmes; which means that many Japanese high school students visit New Zealand schools to study in short-term programmes (for less than 3 months) or longer. Several scholars have investigated the learners’ outcomes of the short-term study abroad of university students. From their studies, it has been established that the main learning objectives of study abroad programmes, are second language acquisition, intercultural competence and personal development. However, little is yet known about the outcomes of younger students who have participated in short-term programmes; only a few attempts have so far been made to analyse the case of Japanese secondary school students’ short-term programmes, and few still refer specifically to programmes in New Zealand. One of my main objectives was to determine a) what were the objectives of Japanese secondary students to participation in a short-term study abroad programme in New Zealand, b) whether they feel satisfied that their objectives have been. Also, as other researchers mentioned, could benefits such as second language acquisition, intercultural competence and personal development be claimed by secondary schools participating in these programmes – specifically the Darfield High School short-term programme that is my case study. In order to do this, I conducted two surveys with four different groups of Japanese secondary school students who visited Darfield High School from 2009 to 2012 as a case study. The findings suggest that many Japanese secondary school students expected to improve their English conversation skills, but they did not feel much improvement in this area after the programme, however, upon reflection, after the programme, students recognised that they had gained far more than they had expected in a general sense. For example, many participants expected to learn about some of the aspects of New Zealand culture as a result of the programme and indeed many students felt that they accomplished this objective, in addition to learning more about their own culture. It is anticipated that the results of my research will assist those who organise study abroad programmes, assist students to maximise their learning, and benefit organisations who host students from overseas.

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  • Treaty over the teacups : an exploration of teacher educators’ understandings and application of the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi at the University of Canterbury, College of Education.A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degreeof Master of Education in the University of Canterbury

    Stark, Robyn Ann (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Teacher educators at the University of Canterbury, College of Education, like all teacher educators in Aotearoa New Zealand, have ethical, legal, and moral obligations in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty is an agreement that was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and representatives of independent Māori hapū (sub-tribe). The failure of the Crown to uphold the Treaty plus the colonisation of New Zealand has held wide-ranging ramifications for Māori, including a negative impact on Māori education. Policy guidelines both at a national level and locally at the University of Canterbury provide requirements and guidelines for teachers and teacher educators in relation to the Treaty. The aim of many of these guidelines is to address equity issues in education and to support Māori ākonga (students) to achieve success as Māori. This thesis draws upon data from interviews with five teacher educators from the University of Canterbury, College of Education to explore their understandings of the Treaty and how these understandings inform their practice. A qualitative research approach was applied to this study. Semi-structured interviews were used and a grounded theory approach to the data analysis was applied. Three key themes arose from the data and these provided insights into the teacher educator participants’ understandings of the Treaty, how they acquired Treaty knowledge and their curriculum decision making. Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory approach was used as a framework to situate how the teacher educators’ understandings of the Treaty have developed. Critical theory and concepts associated with critical pedagogy underpin this research. Critical pedagogy highlights the importance for teacher educators in New Zealand to have an understanding of the historical and contemporary complexities of educational issues related to the Treaty.

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  • The Use of the Multi-channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) Method as an Initial Estimator of Liquefaction Susceptibility in Greymouth, New Zealand

    Gibbens, Clem Alexander Molloy (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Combined analysis of the geomorphic evolution of Greymouth with Multi-channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) provides new insight into the geotechnical implications of reclamation work. The MASW method utilises the frequency dependent velocity (dispersion) of planar Rayleigh waves created by a seismic source as a way of assessing the stiffness of the subsurface material. The surface wave is inverted to calculate a shear wave velocity (Park et al., 1999). Once corrected, these shear-wave (Vs) velocities can be used to obtain a factor of safety for liquefaction susceptibility based on a design earthquake. The primary study site was the township of Greymouth, on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Greymouth is built on geologically young (Holocene-age) deposits of beach and river sands and gravels, and estuarine and lagoonal silts (Dowrick et al., 2004). Greymouth is also in a tectonically active region, with the high seismic hazard imposed by the Alpine Fault and other nearby faults, along with the age and type of sediment, mean the probability of liquefaction occurring is high particularly for the low-lying areas around the estuary and coastline. Repeated mapping over 150 years shows that the geomorphology of the Greymouth Township has been heavily modified during that timeframe, with both anthropogenic and natural processes developing the land into its current form. Identification of changes in the landscape was based on historical maps for the area and interpreting them to be either anthropogenic or natural changes, such as reclamation work or removal of material through natural events. This study focuses on the effect that anthropogenic and natural geomorphic processes have on the stiffness of subsurface material and its liquefaction susceptibility for three different design earthquake events. Areas of natural ground and areas of reclaimed land, with differing ages, were investigated through the use of the MASW method, allowing an initial estimation of the relationship between landscape modification and liquefaction susceptibility. The susceptibility to liquefaction of these different materials is important to critical infrastructure, such as the St. John Ambulance Building and Greymouth Aerodrome, which must remain functional following an earthquake. Areas of early reclamation at the Greymouth Aerodrome site have factors of safety less than 1 and will liquefy in most plausible earthquake scenarios, although the majority of the runway has a high factor of safety and should resist liquefaction. The land west of the St. John’s building has slightly to moderately positive factors of safety. Other areas have factors of safety that reflect the different geology and reclamation history.

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  • The effects of an Alpine Fault earthquake on the Taramakau River, South Island New Zealand.

    Sheridan, Mattilda (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    An Alpine Fault Earthquake has the potential to cause significant disruption across the Southern Alps of the South Island New Zealand. In particular, South Island river systems may be chronically disturbed by the addition of large volumes of sediment sourced from coseismic landsliding. The Taramakau River is no exception to this; located north of Otira, in the South Island of New Zealand, it is exposed to natural hazards resulting from an earthquake on the Alpine Fault, the trace of which crosses the river within the study reach. The effects of an Alpine Fault Earthquake (AFE) have been extensively studied, however, little attention has been paid to the effects of such an event on the Taramakau River as addressed herein. Three research methods were utilised to better understand the implications of an Alpine Fault Earthquake on the Taramakau River: (1) hydraulic and landslide data analyses, (2) aerial photograph interpretation and (3) micro-scale modelling. Data provided by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research were reworked, establishing relationships between hydraulic parameters for the Taramakau River. Estimates of landslide volume were compared with data from the Poerua landslide dam, a historic New Zealand natural event, to indicate how landslide sediment may be reworked through the Taramakau valley. Aerial photographs were compared with current satellite images of the area, highlighting trends of avulsion and areas at risk of flooding. Micro-scale model experiments indicated how a braided fluvial system may respond to dextral strike-slip and thrust displacement and an increase in sediment load from coseismic landslides. An Alpine Fault Earthquake will generate a maximum credible volume of approximately 3.0 x 108 m3 of landslide material in the Taramakau catchment. Approximately 15% of this volume will be deposited on the Taramakau study area floodplain within nine years of the next Alpine Fault Earthquake. This amounts to 4.4 x 107 m3 of sediment input, causing an average of 0.5 m of aggradation across the river floodplains within the study area. An average aggradation of 0.5 m will likely increase the stream height of a one-in-100 year flood with a flow rate of 3200 m3/s from seven metres to 7.5 m overtopping the road and rail bridges that cross the Taramakau River within the study area – if they have survived the earthquake. Since 1943 the Taramakau River has shifted 500 m away from State Highway 73 near Inchbonnie, moving 430 m closer to the road and rail. Paleo channels recognised across the land surrounding Inchbonnie between the Taramakau River and Lake Brunner may be reoccupied after an earthquake on the Alpine Fault. Micro-scale modelling showed that the dominant response to dextral strike-slip and increased ‘landslide’ sediment addition was up- and downstream aggradation separated by a localised zone of degradation over the fault trace. Following an Alpine Fault Earthquake the Taramakau River will be disturbed by the initial surface rupture along the fault trace, closely followed by coseismic landsliding. Landslide material will migrate down the Taramakau valley and onto the floodplain. Aggradation will raise the elevation of the river bed promoting channel avulsion with consequent flooding and sediment deposition particularly on low lying farmland near Inchbonnie. To manage the damage of these hazards, systematically raising the low lying sections of road and rail may be implemented, strengthening (or pre-planning the replacement of) the bridges is recommended and actively involving the community in critical decision making should minimise the risks of AFE induced fluvial hazards. The response of the Taramakau River relative to an Alpine Fault Earthquake might be worse, or less severe or significantly different in some way, to that assumed herein.

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  • Tall Poppy Syndrome and its effect on work performance

    Dediu, Igorevna (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The aim of this study was to find out whether employees would perform worse if they perceived their work colleagues to have negative attitudes towards tall poppies (colleagues favoured the fall of tall poppies rather than rewarding tall poppies), thus displaying typical tall poppy syndrome perceptions. Performance measures were: decision-making vigilance, decision-making dependence, decision-making avoidance, problem solving, creativity, service quality, and the personality construct need for affiliation. Control variables were age, tenure and need for achievement. The design of the study was cross-sectional, online surveys were used to collect the data. The link to the survey was distributed using LinkedIn groups and Facebook advertising, yielding a sample of 229 participants. The data was analysed using regression; the results confirmed 3 of the 7 hypotheses. The results indicated that employees working in an environment that favoured the fall of tall poppies, showed lower decision-making dependability and higher decision-making avoidance. Internal service quality was partially confirmed, it was negatively associated with participants working in an environment that favoured the fall of tall poppies, rather than reward; Theories about the contribution New Zealand’s history has made to the development of tall poppy syndrome are considered. Practical implications of the results are discussed. Directions for future studies in industrial and organizational psychology on the effects of tall poppy syndrome on work performance are discussed.

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  • Investigating the porphyrias through analysis of biochemical pathways.

    Ruegg, Evonne Teresa Nicole (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    ABSTRACT The porphyrias are a diverse group of metabolic disorders arising from diminished activity of enzymes in the heme biosynthetic pathway. They can present with acute neurovisceral symptoms, cutaneous symptoms, or both. The complexity of these disorders is demonstrated by the fact that some acute porphyria patients with the underlying genetic defect(s) are latent and asymptomatic while others present with severe symptoms. This indicates that there is at least one other risk factor required in addition to the genetic defect for symptom manifestation. A systematic review of the heme biosynthetic pathway highlighted the involvement of a number of micronutrient cofactors. An exhaustive review of the medical literature uncovered numerous reports of micronutrient deficiencies in the porphyrias as well as successful case reports of treatments with micronutrients. Many micronutrient deficiencies present with symptoms similar to those in porphyria, in particular vitamin B6. It is hypothesized that a vitamin B6 deficiency and related micronutrient deficiencies may play a major role in the pathogenesis of the acute porphyrias. In order to further investigate the porphyrias, a computational model of the heme biosynthetic pathway was developed based on kinetic parameters derived from a careful analysis of the literature. This model demonstrated aspects of normal heme biosynthesis and illustrated some of the disordered biochemistry of acute intermittent porphyria (AIP). The testing of this model highlighted the modifications necessary to develop a more comprehensive model with the potential to investigated hypotheses of the disordered biochemistry of the porphyrias as well as the discovery of new methods of treatment and symptom control. It is concluded that vitamin B6 deficiency might be the risk factor necessary in conjunction with the genetic defect to trigger porphyria symptoms.

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  • Intertidal foraminifera of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary; response to coseismic deformation and potential to record local historic events

    Vettoretti, Gina Josephine (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Avon-Heathcote Estuary, located in Christchurch, New Zealand, experienced coseismic deformation as a result of the February 22nd 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. The deformation is reflected as subsidence in the northern area and uplift in the southern area of the Estuary, in addition to sand volcanoes which forced up sediment throughout the floor of the Estuary altering estuary bed height and tidal flow. The first part of the research involved quantifying the change in the modern benthic foraminifera distribution as a result of the coseismic deformation caused by the February 22nd 2011 earthquake. By analysing the taxa present immediately post deformation and then the taxa present 2 years post deformation a comparison of the benthic foraminifera distribution can be made of the pre and post deformation. Both the northern and the southern areas of the Estuary were sampled to establish whether foraminifera faunas migrated landward or seaward as a result of subsidence and uplift experienced in different areas. There was no statistical change in overall species distribution in the two year time period since the coseismic deformation occurred, however, there were some noticeable changes in foraminifera distribution at BSNS-Z3 showing a landward migration of taxa. The changes that were predicted to occur as a result of the deformation of the Estuary are taking longer than expected to show up in the foraminiferal record and a longer time period is needed to establish these changes. The second stage involved establishing the modern distribution of foraminifera at Settlers Reserve in the southern area of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary by detailed sampling along a 160 m transect. Foraminifera are sensitive to environmental parameters, tidal height, grainsize, pH and salinity were recorded to evaluate the effect these parameters have on distribution. Bray-Curtis two-way cluster analysis was primarily used to assess the distribution pattern of foraminifera. The modern foraminifera distribution is comparable to that of the modern day New Zealand brackish-water benthic foraminifera distribution and includes species not yet found in other studies of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary. Differences in sampling techniques and the restricted intertidal marshland area where the transect samples were collected account for some of the differences seen between this model and past foraminifera studies. xiii The final stage involved sampling a 2.20 m core collected from Settlers Reserve and using the modern foraminiferal distribution to establish a foraminiferal history of Settlers Reserve. As foraminifera are sensitive to tidal height they may record past coseismic deformation events and the core was used to ascertain whether record of past coseismic deformation is preserved in Settlers Reserve sediments. Sampling the core for foraminifera, grainsize, trace metals and carbon material helped to build a story of estuary development. Using the modern foraminiferal distribution and the tidal height information collected, a down core model of past tidal heights was established to determine past rates of change. Foraminifera are not well preserved throughout the core, however, a sudden relative rise in sea level is recorded between 0.25 m and 0.85 m. Using trace metal and isotope analysis to develop an age profile, this sea level rise is interpreted to record coseismic subsidence associated with a palaeoseismic event in the early 1900’s. Overall, although the Avon-Heathcote Estuary experienced clear coseismic deformation as a result of the 22nd of February 2011 earthquake, modern changes in foraminiferal distribution cannot yet be tracked, however, past seismic deformation is identified in a core. The modern transect describes the foraminifera distribution which identifies species that have not been identified in the Avon-Heathcote Estuary before. This thesis enhances the current knowledge of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary and is a baseline for future studies.

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  • The Function of TAR1 and the Evolution of the Retrograde Response

    Walker, Mark (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    TAR1 is a protein coding gene situated antisense to the 25S rRNA in S. cerevisiae. Tar1p is localized to the mitochondrial inner membrane, and expression is enhanced under conditions of respiratory dysfunction. One common cause of respiratory dysfunction in S. cerevisiae are selfish mitochondrial mutants known as ρ- mitotypes. ρ- mitotypes exhibit drive within the cell following sexual reproduction ; outcompeting host cells and inducing respiratory dysfunction. Respiratory dysfunction activates the Retrograde Response, which involves the expression of genes to compensate for loss of anabolic activity that accompanies respiratory dysfunction. The Retrograde Response also leads to the formation of lifespan shortening Extrachromosomal rDNA circles. Amplification of rDNA circles has the effect of increasing TAR1 at the same time as lifting transcription repression. This observation led to the hypothesis that the formation of rDNA circles was a positive effect of the Retrograde Response, and that TAR1 may serve to ameoleriate the spread of respiratory incompetent mitochondria following sexual reproduction. In this thesis, experiments are conducted that show that TAR1 does suppress the drive of selfish mitochondrial mutants. Additional bioinformatic analyses show that the Retrograde Response may be a recent adaption to selfish mitochondrial mutants.

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  • The use of head mounted displays (HMDs) in high angle climbing : implications for the application of wearable computers to emergency response work.

    Woodham, Alexander, Timothy (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    As wearable computers become more ubiquitous in society and work environments, there are concerns that their use could be negatively impactful in some settings. Previous research indicates that mobile phone and wearable computer use can impair walking and driving performance, but as these technologies are adopted into hazardous work environments it is less clear what the impact will be. The current research investigated the effects that head mounted display use has on high angle climbing, a task representative of the extreme physical demands of some hazardous occupations (such as firefighting or search and rescue work). We explored the effect that introducing a secondary word reading and later recall task has on both climbing performance (holds per meter climbed and distance covered), and word reading and recall (dual-task effects). We found a decrease in both climbing performance and word recall under dual task conditions. Further, we examined participant climbing motion around word presentation and non-word presentation times during the climbing traverse. We found that participants slowed around word presentations, relative to periods without word presentation. Finally, we compared our results to those found in previous research using similar dual-tasking paradigms. These comparisons indicated that physical tasks may be more detrimental to word recall than seated tasks, and that visual stimuli might hinder climbing performance more than audible stimuli. This research has important theoretical implications for the dual-tasking paradigm, as well at important practical implications for emergency response operations and other hazardous working environments.

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  • Enrichment facilitates recovery of spatial memory but not retrosplenial immediate early gene hypoactivation after anterior thalamic lesions

    Mercer, Stephanie Ann (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The anterior thalamus exists within an ‘extended hippocampal memory system’ and has extensive reciprocal connectivity with regions known to support spatial memory function such as the retrosplenial cortex (RSC). Damage to the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) in humans as a result of injury or neurodegenerative disease is associated with severe anterograde amnesia that is not therapeutically manageable. Rat models of ATN lesions have provided potential avenues of treatment through environmental enrichment, to ameliorate some of the lesion-induced deficits. Previously, behavioural recovery after enrichment did not accompany recovery of the striking immediate early gene (IEG) hypoactivation in the RSC found after ATN lesions, but the tasks used may not have been sensitive to RSC function. A modified radial arm maze (RAM) task sensitive to RSC lesions was therefore used to determine whether behavioural recovery was associated with improved expression of zif268, an IEG associated with spatial memory. Initially, water maze spatial tasks were used to establish spatial memory deficits prior to enrichment and to assess memory during the period of continuous enrichment and when overnight enrichment was continued thereafter. There was little or no evidence of recovery from substantial impairments in water maze memory tasks in rats with ATN lesions. However, subsequent testing on the RAM revealed clear, albeit partial, recovery of spatial memory in the enriched rats with ATN lesions. Nonetheless, levels of zif268 expression in the superficial layers of the granular RSC remained at the same level of hypoactivity of standard-housed ATN rats; instead, there was some evidence of recovered CA1 zif268 expression. ATN lesions were also associated with reduced cell counts in the mammillary bodies, which were also not recovered in enriched rats. These findings suggest that IEG expression in the RSC may not always be a critical biomarker for spatial memory function in rats.

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  • Small business tax compliance burden : what can be done to level the playing field.

    Ma, David (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    One of the major issues associated with taxation are the costs incurred by taxpayers when they comply with their tax obligations, this is particularly important for smaller business taxpayers. Compliance costs are found to be regressive, falling with disproportionate severity on smaller businesses. This trend can be found across the globe and more importantly, in New Zealand. Prior research has shown that the severity of the regressiveness has increased over time. The current, “one-size-fits-all”, approach used in the New Zealand tax system, and others alike, have created undue complexity for small businesses. This study reviews small business tax regimes and concessions currently implemented (or proposed) in different countries to relieve the compliance burden for smaller businesses. Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States have either implemented a separate tax regime, or offers tax concessions to smaller business taxpayers. New Zealand on the other hand, presents minor ad hoc tax concessions for small business taxpayers, but since 2009, there have been proposals to change this system. This study evaluates and compares all the implemented (or proposed) regimes and concessions of the selected countries. Following from the case studies, interviews are conducted with tax professionals that have worked closely with smaller businesses, in order to shed light on the possibility of implementing a similar regime in New Zealand. The findings show that a small business tax regime has many avenues to consider, however, there is general consensus that suggests small business taxation should be kept as simple as possible. This thesis puts forward a baseline for further discussion and development of a small business regime to reduce compliance costs for smaller businesses.

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  • A Capabilities Solution to Enhancement Inequality

    Swindells, Fox (2014)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Human enhancements will dramatically alter individuals' capabilities and lead to serious harm if unregulated. However, it is unclear how states should act to mitigate this harm. I argue that the capabilities approach provides a useful metric to determine what action states should take regarding each enhancement technology. According to the capabilities approach, states are responsible for ensuring their citizens are able to function in certain ways that are essential to human life. I consider the impact of a range of enhancements on individuals' capabilities in order to determine what actions states should take regarding each technology. I find that in order to be just and prevent harmful inequality, states will need to ensure many enhancements are available to their citizens. I also explore a range of other regulations aimed at harm prevention. Considering the impact of enhancement technologies on human capabilities, and the appropriate regulatory options for states, under the guide of the capabilities approach allows me to demonstrate that the capabilities approach can provide valuable, realistic, advice to guide public policy in response to enhancement technologies.

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  • Refinement and Normalisation of the University of Canterbury Auditory-Visual Matrix Sentence Test

    McClelland, Amber (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Developed by O'Beirne and Trounson (Trounson, 2012), the UC Auditory-Visual Matrix Sentence Test (UCAMST) is an auditory-visual speech test in NZ English where sentences are assembled from 50 words arranged into 5 columns (name, verb, quantity, adjective, object). Generation of sentence materials involved cutting and re-assembling 100 naturally spoken ‟original” sentences to create a large repertoire of 100,000 unique ‟synthesised” sentences. The process of synthesising sentences from video fragments resulted in occasional artifactual image jerks (‟judders”)‒quantified by an unusually large change in the ‟pixel difference value” of consecutive frames‒at the edited transitions between video fragments. To preserve the naturalness of materials, Study 1 aimed to select transitions with the least ‟noticeable” judders. Normal-hearing participants (n = 18) assigned a 10-point noticeability rating score to 100 sentences comprising unedited ‟no judder” sentences (n = 28), and ‟synthesised” sentences (n = 72) that varied in the severity (i.e. pixel difference value), number, and position of judders. The judders were found to be significantly noticeable compared to no judder controls, and based on mean rating score, 2,494 sentences with ‟minimal noticeable judder” were included in the auditory-visual UCAMST. Follow-on work should establish equivalent lists using these sentences. The average pixel difference value was found to be a significant predictor of rating score, therefore may be used as a guide in future development of auditory-visual speech tests assembled from video fragments. The aim of Study 2 was to normalise the auditory-alone UCAMST to make each audio fragment equally intelligible in noise. In Part I, individuals with normal hearing (n = 17) assessed 400 sentences containing each file fragment presented at four different SNRs (-18.5, -15, -11.5, and -8 dB) in both constant speech-shaped noise (n = 9) and six-talker babble (n = 8). An intelligibility function was fitted to word-specific data, and the midpoint (Lmid, intelligibility at 50%) of each function was adjusted to equal the mean pre-normalisation midpoint across fragments. In Part II, 30 lists of 20 sentences were generated with relatively homogeneous frequency of matrix word use. The predicted parameters in constant noise (Lmid = 14.0 dB SNR; slope = 13.9%/dB ± 0.0%/dB) are comparable with published equivalents. The babble noise condition was, conversely, less sensitive (Lmid = 14.9 dB SNR; slope = 10.3%/dB ± 0.1%/dB), possibly due to a smaller sample size (n = 8). Overall, this research constituted an important first step in establishing the UCAMST as a reliable measure of speech recognition; follow-on work will validate the normalisation procedure carried out in this project.

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