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    Romanticising Market Exchange: Unpacking Cultural Meanings of Value in Home-sharing Markets

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    The so-called sharing economy has disrupted the way people exchange, create, produce or transfer value. Digitally-enabled, this economy makes it easier for consumers to rent, share, barter and lend private resources to strangers, a consumption practice called collaborative consumption. Past literature suggests that prototypical sharing facilitates a sense of inclusion, but consumers fail to develop feelings of belonging. The misuse of the term ‘sharing’ may be the culprit for mixed findings in the literature. This study explores how consumer sharing can be romanticised in market exchange. Drawing on Romanticism as an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that is central to the rise of consumer culture (Campbell, 1987), this thesis contextualises consumer sharing in a consumer sharing marketplace that is wrought with paradoxes, conflicts tensions and ideological struggles. Adopting a multi-sited ethnography, netnography and grounded theory analysis to theorise consumers’ romanticised sharing processes, this research empirically studies a home-sharing network (Airbnb) to understand how sharing and collaboration take place between producers and consumers (e.g., hosts and guests) and if Romanticism is in fact embedded in their sharing experiences. This thesis discovers that home-sharing consumers and producers are on a journey towards a moral destiny that fuses opposing ideologies of Romanticism and Rationalism together. They mythologise a new paradise where they can re-emerge with the natural world, return to a collaborative society of human nature and imagine a new order where the common public interest and freedom for all is actualised. However, in a market system such as home sharing where hosts supply a home and are compensated for it, rational thinking and self-interests do not escape the network. Thus, with the interplay of the two ideologies, the network is laden with paradoxes, conflicts and tensions. The apparent contradictions occur at micro, meso and macro-levels of interaction that eventually lead hosts and guests to perform Romantic practices and engage in resistance narratives to disguise the internal ideological struggles; that is, home sharing is an open secret that is known but cannot easily be articulated. Through the processes of open secrecy, the home-sharing network is empowered and hosts and guests enthusiastically engage in their sharing experiences even though they can be illusive and filled with paradoxes and conflicts. The joint disbelief and ambiguity of the home-sharing experience and the perceived belief that sharing intentions may be pure allow hosts and guests to co-create a journey towards an imagined utopic paradise that embodies their moral-oriented self-identities. This is realised in Airbnb home-sharing heterotopic spaces that reflect real sites of exchange and home spaces (Foucault, 1986). However, they are actually ‘counter sites’ that fuse Rationality and Romanticism, thus creating heterotopic sites of deviance, illusion and compensation, which are fundamentally controlled through the spatiotemporal and social boundaries of the spaces that hosts and guests ‘play’ in. These spaces reflect the commercialisation of intimacies and the social society we live in. The findings explain the relationship between the Romantic concept of sharing consumption and the heterotopic ‘space of difference’ that can juxtapose many incompatible sites in a single real space in which the notion of ‘open secrecy’ and ‘masking’ are understood as the socially-situated deployment of cultural fantasies. Thus, taking the problem of paradoxical consumption of true sharing and self-interested exchange as a starting point, this research introduces the concept of the fusion of Romanticism and Rationalism in the sharing economy to understand the transformation of access to possessions and the embedded cultural experience that hosts and guests experience, which is saturated with rituals, symbols practices and emotions. This study addresses the complex workings of the private spaces of homes that are challenged in various ways by commercial practices, thus creating an anti-market and anti-private place. In doing so, the study’s findings join a growing body of consumer culture research on identity work, sharing, resistance, possessions and use of space. It also offers methodological implications to future researchers on the use of a multi-sited ethnography and netnography as well as practical implications for marketers, policymakers and consumers

    A Daunting Journey: Accessing a Lead Maternity Care Midwife

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    One outcome measure of quality maternity care is the rate of stillbirth and neonatal death. To enhance health outcomes for women and babies in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health and the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC) recommend early engagement with maternity services. However, Counties Manukau Health region has a high rate of women accessing and engaging with maternity care after the first trimester of pregnancy and one of the highest rates of stillbirth and neonatal death in New Zealand. To improve engagement with maternity care, in 2012 Counties Manukau Health initiated a recommendation from a maternity service review to co-locate midwives alongside general practitioners’ clinics (GP clinic) in high socioeconomic deprivation communities. The initiative was intended to support women to access and engage with midwifery care before 10 weeks gestation. The aim of this interpretive descriptive study was to explore the experience of eight women accessing the services of midwives using this model of care, co-located with their GP clinic. In keeping with the interpretive descriptive methodology, one-to-one semi-structured interviews were undertaken and data was examined using thematic analysis. Two themes were identified from this study. ‘It’s a daunting journey accessing midwifery care’ and: ‘Circumventing the maternity health service maze’; These findings highlight the experience the women had accessing a Lead Maternity Care (LMC) midwife, the socio-cultural influences, the resource and service challenges. The findings revealed that a midwife recommendation combined with support from their GP or nurse assisted the women to access LMC care with confidence and ease. The findings may inform health policy makers, clinicians and others - including the people accessing maternity services

    Single Mothers With Children Traveling: How Hard Can It Be?

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    This dissertation considers single parents, especially single mothers’ perspectives of a holiday trip with their children. Currently the tourist industry is looking at this phenomenon. The traditional nuclear family with two heterosexual parents, have very different needs compared to a single parent family. The experience of taking children overseas presents many challenges for a single mother. However, increasingly single mothers have selected to travel with their children, owing to the emotional benefits of holidaying as a family. There is little research literature on single parent tourism, and far less concerning a single mother’s perspective. In order to fill the gap in single mother tourism, this study conducted exploratory qualitative research to collect information on the experiences and perceptions of single mothers through 15 blogs with 20 participants of different countries. Qualitative data was coded and classified using thematic analysis. Emerging global themes resulted in answering the various research objectives. The findings of this research study found that many different elements can affect the experiences of a single mother. Before traveling self-doubt and sometimes family and friends’ criticism can act as deterrent for single mothers. Meanwhile, when traveling, social cognitive biases, safety considerations, the demands of children and an immature market bring pressures to bear on the single mothers, regardless of financial, physical or emotional considerations. This dissertation summarizes the implications for single mothers traveling abroad, from a theoretical and practical point of view, to find ways to reduce the pressures on single mothers, and find ways to cater for their unique needs

    Interpreting and Animating the Tāwhaki Myth Cycle in a Video Game

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    This exegesis explores the ways in which the Tāwhaki myths may be interpreted in a video game. The Tāwhaki myths were chosen because of their relative obscurity in the modern era (Mead, 1996). I examine three possible ways these myths may be interpreted using digital media. I then build a video game prototype based on one of these interpretations. I conclude with a discussion about the creation process of building this prototype, focusing primarily on writing issues which pertain to the retelling of the Tāwhaki myths

    Painting: Adventures in a Marginal Aesthetic

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    This project explores how a relationship between consonance and dissonance can operate as a dynamic interplay that is constantly at work during the process of painting. It also explores how this interaction operates as a constantly shifting aesthetic territory that is central to the life of my practice. This comes from questioning how my decision-making processes accommodate incongruent qualities that work together to somehow open up possibilities. The project looks at the relationship between a deeply rooted sense of order, the disruptive qualities that are continually emerging in the painting, and how this dynamic is used positively in the art to prevent the work from falling into a passive state of resolution

    Factor-analysis-based Directional Distance Function: The Case of New Zealand Hospitals

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    This paper develops a new factor-analysis-based (FAB) approach for choosing the optimal direction in a directional distance function (DDF) analysis. It has the combined merits of factor analysis and slacks-based measure (SBM) and incorporates the relative ease with which various input-output could be adjusted. This development relieves the dependency of price information that is normally unavailable in the provision of public goods. This new FAB-DDF model has been applied on a dataset containing all public hospitals in New Zealand (NZ) observed during 2011-2017. The empirical results indicate that the average reduction across different labor is in the range of 3-10 percent, and the corresponding figure for capital input is 25.7 percent. The case-adjusted inpatient-discharge and price-adjusted outpatient-visit are used as measures of desirable output, the average efficiencies are 92.7 percent and 99 percent respectively. Hospital readmission within 28 days of discharge is used as a measure for undesirable output, and the average efficiency score is 90 percent. These evidence support the suspicion that perverse incentives might exist under the National Health Targets abolished in 2018, which was a set of six indicators used in the last decade to evaluate the performance of local District Health Boards

    Does the Implementation of Rapid Deceleration Training Improve Change of Direction Performance in Rugby Players?

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    Agility and change of direction (COD) are distinct but crucial skills for team sport athletes. As athletes develop different performance aspects, the ability to control the body during COD is altered. Unplanned rapid COD, particularly during the deceleration phase, are the most likely cause of non-contact injuries in team sports. There is little previous research on deceleration to provide guidance for this component of performance, particularly with reference to rugby union. The aim of this thesis was to; 1) to determine if a period of deceleration training would result in improved COD performance in rugby players; 2) determine a suitable deceleration performance index that can be used in the field to assess deceleration ability. Methods: Seven male club level (age: 24.4 ± 7.4 years; height: 181 ± 7cm; mass: 87.5 ± 7.7kg; rugby experience: 10.9 ± 5.5 years) and five female regional level (age: 23 ± 5.7 years, mass: 71.3 ± 13.8kg, rugby experience: 6.8 ± 5.9 years) rugby players were recruited during a period of pre-season training. During one single session, the male group performed 10m speed, horizontal jump, vertical jump, bounce drop jump, 505 COD test, One Repetition Maximum (1RM) squat as part of pre-season testing. The female group completed the 505 COD test only. Participants then completed the six week training intervention which consisted of a 20-30 minute warm-up protocol twice per week. The protocol focused on deceleration drills and the execution of rapid deceleration efforts. All performance tests were repeated following the training intervention. A Paired T-Test, Effect Size (ES) and Hedges’ g ES calculations were used to analyse differences pre to post intervention. Smallest Worthwhile Change calculations were calculated to detect meaningful change pre-post intervention. Pearson Product Moment Correlation data using pooled pre and post intervention data determined relationships between performance tests and 505 COD performance. Results: Nine out of twelve participants improved or maintained performance in the 505 COD test (Group: n=12, 0.1 ± 2.8%, ES=0.09, Female: n=5, 0.06 ± 3.3%, ES=0.08, Male: n=7, 0.06 ± 2.4%, ES=0.10). There were significant improvements in jump performance, particularly bilateral vertical (ES=0.13), right leg (ES=0.37), and left leg (ES=0.83) vertical jumping pre to post intervention. There were very high correlations between relative strength (r=0.710) and 1RM squat (r=0.546) and 505 COD performance. High correlations between bilateral horizontal jump (r=0.543), and right leg horizontal jump (r=0.603), bilateral vertical jumps (r=0.606), right leg vertical jump (r=0.591) and left leg vertical jump (r=0.557) and 505 COD performance were found. A Deceleration Index has been proposed that provides accurate description of performance changes with regard to COD and momentum. Conclusion: Practicing COD movements and drills, specifically the deceleration component rapidly from high velocity running can improve COD performance and contributing sub qualities of this ability in rugby players. Practical application: Introducing deceleration drills as part of a warm-up for team trainings will provide enough stimulus to improve deceleration capacity and COD and agility performance. Drills should be progressed as players become more skilled, being able to decelerate from increasing speeds within shorter distances

    A Contestable Professional Development Fund: Interpretations of the Applicant Experience

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    This research was undertaken to understand health workers lived experience of applying for contestable professional development funding in the health sector. It responds to the World Health Organizations’ (WHO) call for further inquiry into professional development funding (WHO, 2013). In this thesis, the literature on the landscape of professional development in Aotearoa New Zealand is considered in relation to the investment in national health workforce development. A comparison with global averages is explored as the background to barriers and enablers to health workers participation in professional development. Financial matters emerge as a significant and consistent barrier to engagement. The thesis research consists of a qualitative study using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis with an existential phenomenological lens. It is idiographic, making meaning of the lived experience of staff at Waitemata District Health Board in Auckland, New Zealand, as they apply to the organisation’s Professional Development Fund (PDF). The study also explores views of the PDF as a system in the specific context, and the outcomes of the PDF on staff engagement and career development. Consistent with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, the research was carried out with an insider view of the organisation since the researcher is a staff member of the District Health Board, an eligible applicant to the fund and a past PDF committee member. This has assisted in a double interpretation, making meaning of the participants’ meaning-making, and in seeing more clearly the practical and theoretical implications of the research findings. The study findings provide insight into workplace attitudes and behaviours towards contestable funding, the particular impact on lives at work and at home, the professional aspirations of adult learners, and the tension between professional expectations and financial limitations. An interesting outcome of this research is the importance of usability in electronic application processes, particularly the need for clarity, time efficiency and a focus on the user experience. Crucially, the findings emphasise the importance of investment in health workers’ professional development and support the re-orientation of funding prioritisation towards the needs of workers. Although participants acknowledged the constrained financial landscape in the public sector, they identified the investment in continued professional development as critical for their career progression and satisfaction. Ultimately it seems that prioritising the needs of staff improves worker morale and wellbeing, in turn contributing to organisational success. Although the PDF is contextually specific, it is one example of typical contestable funding mechanisms accessed for activities such as professional development and performance-based research. This means the findings have implications across workforce development in both health and academia, and can offer insight to inform the development or review of similar funding mechanisms

    'Birthplace - Your Choice' A Smartphone Application Designed to Aid Informed Decision Making on Birthplaces for Primigravida Women in New Zealand

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    Birthplace choices influence maternal and neonatal outcomes. Despite popular belief, International, New Zealand and local research confirms that birthing in an obstetric hospital does not improve maternal or neonatal outcomes for healthy, low-risk women and their babies. Research evidence agrees that it instead, increases the likelihood of unnecessary medical interventions leading to maternal and neonatal morbidities. Health outcomes for birth planned at home or in midwife-led birthing units is safer for mothers and as safe as an obstetric hospital for babies, yet in New Zealand the majority of women choose to birth in an obstetric hospital. Knowledge on birthplace options and outcomes is hindered by a lack of easily accessible, user-friendly, evidence-based information. Worldwide ehealth technologies are increasing in use with Smartphone healthcare applications (Apps) being increasingly integrated into mainstream healthcare as monitoring and information tools. The main aim of this research was to develop an ehealth Smartphone App called 'Birthplace - Your Choice' This App would provide evidence based, accessible information that focused on: birthplace choices; outcomes for mothers and babies giving birth in hospital, midwife-led birthing units and at home; obstetric interventions; and the benefits of physiological birth. This prototype App was developed as a Patient Decision Aid Tool in collaboration with Centre for Learning and Teaching, Auckland University of Technology. International Patient Decision Aid Standards criteria, decisional-conflict measurements, information processing, ehealth frameworks and communication theories informed App development. An extensive literature search was conducted to provide evidence-based content. ‘Birthplace – Your Choice’ includes New Zealand specific statistical data which makes this project unique to the birthing population information needs. The statistical likelihood of vaginal birth, caesarean, water-birth, bleeding after birth, perineal trauma, Apgar score and admission to neonatal intensive care unit is presented. Information on transfer from home or midwife-led birthing units to hospital is also provided. Written text, drop-down information options, interactive quizzes and interactive infographics are provided to engage the user with the content. Prototype testing involved a small sample of four primigravida women who each answered a questionnaire before using the ‘Birthplace – Your Choice’ App and another a week after use. Observational notes were also recorded on navigation and usability while the App was being used. Results: Use of a New Zealand specific Smartphone App has potential in aiding low-risk primigravida women in making informed decisions on their birthplace and understanding childbirth choices. The four women desired information on Birthplace options and deemed this important to make informed decisions yet none was available that was easily accessible. The women expressed their frustration at having to rely on their midwife, family and friends for information which they recognised as potentially biased. The provision of credible information via a Smartphone was appreciated and validated as a suitable platform to deliver such information. The fact that this information could be shared and discussed with others and freely accessed, improved its acceptability. Three of the women stated that the content of the App increased their confidence that they had made the right choice to birth at a midwife-led birthing unit. One of these women who tested the App at 38 weeks’ gestation stated that had she had this information earlier she would have likely chosen a homebirth. The last woman had chosen to birth at a hospital but changed to a midwife-led birthing unit after using the App. This demonstrates that women prefer and may benefit from being able to access evidence-based information on birthplace options in New Zealand. New Zealand women make their birthplace decision early in, if not before, pregnancy. This demonstrates the need for high quality information on birthplace options and outcomes to be easily accessible if any improvements in informed decision making is to occur. By explaining the benefits of physiological birthing for mother and babies, along with information on birthplace options and outcomes, the ‘Birthplace – Your Choice’ App fills a gap not being met by any current Public Health initiatives in this country. Further App development and a larger sample size is needed for meaningful statistical analysis that can measure any effect of the App on choice of birthplace. ‘Birthplace – Your Choice’ offers potential as an ehealth tool to improve education on Birthplace options, obstetric interventions, maternal and neonatal outcomes and the benefits of physiological birth. Potential benefits for maternity Stakeholders include a reduction in costs and staffing demands if exposure to accurate birthplace information results in a shift away from birth in hospitals

    Shifting Registration: an Exploration of Printmaking and Possibilities

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    This practice-led research explores creative opportunities within fine art printmaking. In the context of my own practice, it investigates how new possibilities might emerge from the interplay between a technically precise and nuanced medium and an exploration of creative approaches within it – approaches not tied down by preconceptions of technical rectitude. The flux and distinction between these modalities of approach are used to activate my work by opening new questions for exploration. In particular, the project explores how chance events and extemporaneous movements generate possibilities that are unconstrained by disciplinary conventions, languages, processes or techniques. The capacity of happenstance to suggest possibilities and nuanced difference is explored as the focus for activation of a creative impetus, as I negotiate a path between correctness and opportunism, seeking a vitality for my practice

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