Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington
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    11785 research outputs found

    Whatua Mai te Aho: The Role of Museums in the Maintenance of Māori Weaving As a Living Cultural Practice

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    Abstract Māori weaving is a taonga tuku iho, a revered cultural practice, that has survived colonisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. Leading practitioners in the twentieth century broke with custom to teach outside their own tribal areas and recuperate the practice while Māori political and cultural leaders were revitalising cultural knowledge and arts. Museums in Aotearoa were involved in some of these initiatives, but failed to support weaving as a living cultural practice, and most collections of Māori weaving remain neglected and disconnected from practitioners, descendant communities and cultural context. This research, therefore, aims to identify key issues that affect Māori weavers as cultural practitioners, in their ability to sustain and teach weaving, and the role of museums as aid or impediment. The problem addressed is the lack of recognition of, and engagement with, weavers as cultural custodians, and the decontextualisation of weaving in museums. This thesis asks: do museums recognise the authority and self-determination of Māori weavers, and act on their potential agency as a decolonising, restorative force for change? This research is situated in Museum and Heritage Studies, draws on Māori and Indigenous studies, and related fields, and focuses on contemporary museum practice. There is a gap in the current literature seen from the perspective of Māori professionals and cultural practitioners. The theoretical framework draws from the work of Kreps, Denzin and Smith. The research design employs a range of methods including interviews, fieldwork, autoethnography, case studies and Kaupapa Māori methodology informed by critical Indigenous pedagogy. It has a practical aim, to explore the potential of Māori weaving as a pedagogy, a form of cultural teaching that can reform museum custodianship. The main findings are that museums are limited in their capability to empower living cultural practices and need a culture change in order to understand their obligations to Māori communities. There is a link between the transformative agency of Indigenous museology and cultural practice as pedagogy that recentres Indigenous knowledge and practice in museums and provides a liberating and socially responsible pathway for meaningful change. Museums must release absolute control to be appropriate custodians of taonga. The conclusion presents a new model of the museum as a whare pora and wānanga, a holistic learning philosophy that enables decolonising practice. This radical approach to cultural reclamation is needed, based on a vision of shared futures, restorative ethics and principles of constitutional transformation.</p

    Human-AI Interaction In Regulating Productivity And Wellbeing

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    Knowledge workers are essential for sustainable organisational performance. However, knowledge workers face many challenges due to the increased demands of a globalised economy and rapid technological advancements. Moreover, research suggests that knowledge workers lack self-discipline and often engage in unproductive work habits, consequently impacting their productivity and wellbeing. Enterprise intelligent personal assistants (IPAs) are being promoted as having the potential to boost knowledge workers' productivity and wellbeing by regulating work behaviours. However, research on the role of IPAs in managing personal productivity and wellbeing remains underexplored within information systems (IS) research. Current studies are primarily confined to human-computer interaction (HCI) literature and predominantly centred on the IPAs' design and usability evaluation, neglecting to investigate their real-world impact and lived experiences. This thesis addresses this shortcoming by focusing on the underexplored aspect of human-AI coregulation of daily work-life practices. The study is based on a single unique case study of knowledge workers interacting with Microsoft Viva Insights (MVI), an enterprise IPA for productivity and wellbeing. The data for this study include twenty-six semi-structured interviews, four self-reflection journals, over sixty screenshots of interactions with MVI, twenty-two product videos and twenty-three webpages and documents on MVI. Using the concepts of coregulation and framing theory, this study explores both the role of enterprise IPAs and the nature of human-AI interaction in regulating daily work-life practices. I explain how the IPA, as a coregulator, used rationalisation, moralisation and normalisation strategies to participate in the regulation of work-life practices. In addition, I present a frame interaction model of coregulatory human-AI interaction to show and explain that for human-AI coregulation of work to be successful, there is a need for frame alignment between humans' cognitive frames and the frames embedded in IPAs. The significance of this study is that it adopts a novel approach by combining two bodies of framing literature and extending the application of the framing theory to explain the nature of human-AI interaction in the context of agentic IS designed for behaviour regulation and modification in work settings. As far as I am aware, this study is the first to merge two bodies of framing literature to conceptualise human-AI interaction as a form of frame interaction within the IS field. The study offers valuable empirical insights for IS researchers, AI designers and organisations interested in effectively integrating AI technologies in the workplace.</p

    Reconstructing the response of native fish in lakes to historical anthropogenic disturbances

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    There is a well-documented decline in the native fish of Aotearoa New Zealand, with 74% of species currently categorised as at risk or threatened. There is an urgent need for more data on how fish communities respond to the complex and synergistic drivers that are causing their biodiversity loss in lakes. Paleolimnological studies overcome the limitation of short monitoring records and allow research which explores the impact of disturbances on fish and the wider ecosystem. Until recently the ability to detect changes in historical fish communities has been limited by the lack of fossil remains left behind by fish. This thesis explored the use of sedimentary DNA (sedDNA) to track fish communities in sediment cores. I began by reviewing available methods used to measure or infer how fish communities respond to disturbance. These included contemporary population surveys, manipulative experimental methods, paleolimnological approaches, Indigenous Knowledge and social histories. The benefits and limitations of these approaches were identified and discussed within the context of eutrophication, land use change and introduced fish. I highlighted the value of environmental DNA based approaches, and Indigenous Knowledge and social histories and how different methods can compensate for the limitations inherent in other methodologies. I demonstrated how the application of an integrative methodological approach could greatly advance knowledge on how native freshwater fish in lakes respond to anthropogenic disturbances. I identified fish sedDNA as an emerging tool in paleolimnology but highlighted the ongoing need for method development. Secondly, I tested five methods with various modifications to establish their ability to desorb extracellular fish DNA from aquatic sediments. I characterised the recovery of fish sedDNA from sediments using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays targeting eel (Anguilla australis, Anguilla dieffenbachii) and perch (Perca fluviatilis). A range of sediment masses (0.25–20 g) were assessed to establish the optimal amount required to accurately assess fish sedDNA. An optimised extraction method was developed and used in my subsequent chapters. I assessed the effect of sediment core location (nearshore verses depocentre), fish or mussel species and molecular method (ddPCR versus metabarcoding) on sedDNA detection in sediment cores from a small eutrophic lake in the Wairarapa region (Aotearoa New Zealand). There were higher detections in the nearshore core compared to the depocenter core which was most likely related to the locality of the target species. Differential detection of target species was likely caused by their ecology and biomass. The ddPCR assays were more sensitive than the metabarcoding approach. Target species detection was negatively impacted by a reduction in total DNA concentration in older sediments. These results highlighted that current molecular techniques used to target fish sedDNA can result in inconsistent temporal and spatial detection of species, especially in older sediments.I reconstructed the abundance and diversity of a native fish community over 1390 years in a small eutrophic lake in the Gisborne region (Aotearoa New Zealand) using metabarcoding and a fish specific ddPCR approach. A suite of sedDNA and other traditional paleolimnological approaches, e.g., pollen analysis, X-ray fluorescence and hyperspectral scanning, and trace metal analysis were used to explore drivers of changes in the fish communities. Generalised additive mixed models identified distinct shifts in fish community composition, notably a decline in a Galaxias species concomitant with early land use changes starting around 1350 CE. A significant decline in fish abundance around 1950 CE aligned with agricultural intensification and shifts in both phytoplankton and zooplankton communities. The results suggested that the major changes in fish diversity and abundance in the lake were mostly related to external drivers (i.e., agricultural intensification) and correlated internal productivity (i.e., eutrophication) than to food web composition changes (i.e., dietary shifts). This study emphasised the potential of using fish sedDNA (with the appropriate methodological considerations) to investigate the impact of anthropogenic disturbance on lake fish communities. This knowledge will assist with the future management and conservation of native fish species in freshwater lakes.</p

    Global Patterns in Construction and Demolition Waste (C&DW) Research: A Bibliometric Analysis Using VOSviewer

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    C&DW is contributing to exceeding all planetary boundaries and presents a range of other issues. In order to better understand the existing research on C&DW, a global bibliographic analysis was undertaken through seven groups of keyword searches of Scopus and the results visualised using VOSviewer. The study identifies phases in discussion of C&DW in terms of volume and themes and examines how search terms influence what is found. The results show that C&DW receives only a modest research attention compared to other areas of waste, and this is despite an exponential increase in C&DW research since 2016. The analyses also show that concrete is the most researched material in terms of C&DW, and that reuse, recycling, and circular economy are so far attracting only proportionally modest research attention. This signals a need for further acceleration of the C&DW research, and specifically for more research on reuse, recycling, and circular economy for materials other than concrete. One important finding are differences observed when using different search terms related to C&DW, which suggests that single search studies might provide limited insights

    The Possibility of an Impossible Ethics

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    Moral error is a sceptical position regarding morality, analogous to the atheist’s position on religion; according to a moral error theorist no moral judgements are ever true. Moral fictionalism is a response to the situation created by error theory; even if all statements about morality are false, we should nevertheless carry on with a make-believe, or fictional, moral discourse. Some of the arguments made in favour of moral error theory, specifically the argument from queerness, render morality impossible, rather than just contingently false. While this is not a problem for error theory in and of itself, it does pose an issue for fictionalism as a response to error theory: If morality is not possible, then there is good reason to believe that morality is not conceivable, not imaginable, and therefore not something that we can make-believe in. This may initially seem to be disastrous to the fictionalist's position; however, there is strong reason to believe that we can imagine the impossible, and thus fictionalism can be saved from the problem of an impossible morality. This does not return us to where we began, it allows for a fictionalism that also has an impossible content as well as form. This possibility of imagining an impossible morality allows fictionalism to be of much more use than any actual normative moral system.</p

    Plasmodium falciparum heat shock proteins as antimalarial drug targets: An update

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    Global efforts to eradicate malaria are threatened by multiple factors, particularly the emergence of antimalarial drug resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Heat shock proteins (HSPs), particularly P. falciparum HSPs (PfHSPs), represent promising drug targets due to their essential roles in parasite survival and virulence across the various life cycle stages. Despite structural similarities between human and malarial HSPs posing challenges, there is substantial evidence for subtle differences that could be exploited for selective drug targeting. This review provides an update on the potential of targeting various PfHSP families (particularly PfHSP40, PfHSP70, and PfHSP90) and their interactions within PfHSP complexes as a strategy to develop new antimalarial drugs. In addition, the need for a deeper understanding of the role of HSP complexes at the host–parasite interface is highlighted, especially heterologous partnerships between human and malarial HSPs, as this opens novel opportunities for targeting protein–protein interactions crucial for malaria parasite survival and pathogenesis

    Contemporary Bidayuh Vernacular Architecture

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    In Sarawak, Malaysia, many new buildings stand in stark contrast to the local traditional Bidayuh Longhouses and Baruks. The lack of representation and respect for local culture and building techniques in the architectural landscape of the 21st century is contributing to the disappearance of the Bidayuh culture and heritage; the traditional design of the Longhouse and Baruk is a vital part of that. The failure to develop and integrate the vernacular style over time can lead to the heritage architecture being seen as archaic and undervalued. Reviving local knowledge and culture in the 21st century can not only preserve the local identity but can also push the practice of architecture to be more sustainable, both culturally and environmentally. Hence, my research investigates ways traditional Bidayuh building knowledge and techniques can positively influence contemporary design.The research focuses on a small community scale with data on the Bidayuh’s building design, form, and construction. The methodology starts with gathering and analysing various types of information from local archives and via observations that have been employed relating to vernacular building techniques. The gathered knowledge will be used to develop a contemporary approach to design and technology. The information collected will then be used as a starting point to create a framework for the Bidayuh built forms. The result would be the basis for developing prototypes of contemporary Longhouses. This research investigates traditional Bidayuh designs to see how they help minimise environmental damage whilst reinforcing cultural identity without being seen as retrogressive. The framework and prototype can be a precedent for future architectural developments elsewhere.</p

    An Experimental Approach: Investigating the Directive Function of Autobiographical Memory

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    How is autobiographical memory useful? Researchers have proposed a directive function—memory for experiences helps to guide and direct behaviour during open-ended problems. The experimental research on the directive function is limited and mixed but suggests that enhancing self-efficacy—the belief or the confidence one holds that they can perform a specific behaviour and achieve certain goals (Bandura, 1997)—can help with open-ended problem solving. Our research programme therefore had two aims: 1) experimentally test whether autobiographical memory recall enhances open-ended problem solving; and 2) experimentally test whether increasing self-efficacy, via autobiographical memory recall, enhances open-ended problem solving.Across three, high-powered, preregistered experiments (Experiments 1, 2 and 4, Chapters 2 and 4), we found no significant main effects of recalling success autobiographical memories—specific memories of feeling successful and competent, either related or unrelated to the problems—on open-ended problem solving (measured by the Means End Problem Solving Task; Platt & Spivack, 1975). We therefore investigated why that might be, particularly given that other studies have found significant experimental effects. For instance, Experiment 3 (n = 209; Chapter 3) found no significant evidence that differences in instructions lead to different results between our own and other studies.Instead, we found that across all conditions in Experiments 1 (n = 169) and 2 (n = 341; Chapter 2), during the problem-solving task some participants recalled additional autobiographical memories related to the problems (i.e., memories we did not request), and they did significantly better at open-ended problem solving than those that did not. We therefore hypothesised that different effects between our own and other studies could be due to some participants in our undergraduate student samples already using their autobiographical memory in a directive and helpful way. Therefore, the experimental manipulation provides no extra benefit for some. Experimental effects could also be dampened if participants in the control condition are already using their autobiographical memory in a directive way. Indeed, in Experiment 4 (n = 237; Chapter 4), we found a significant effect of related, success autobiographical memories on open-ended problem solving, but only for those who self-report not using their autobiographical memory in a directive way (i.e., for those who scored lower on the directive-function subscale of the Thinking About Life Experiences-Revised Questionnaire; Bluck & Alea, 2011).In Experiment 4, we also found no significant, positive correlation between the directive-function subscale scores and problem-solving scores. Thus, while we found that autobiographical memory recall may be functional for open-ended problem solving, it is perhaps not a uniquely advantageous approach to solving open-ended problems. Therefore, experimentally investigating the directive function is complex due to individual differences in how people approach open-ended problems and how they recall and use their autobiographical memories during such times.We also found no evidence that enhancing self-efficacy, via autobiographical memory recall, significantly enhances open-ended problem solving. We did find, however, significant small-to-medium effect sized correlations between self-efficacy scores (i.e., the extent to which the success autobiographical memory made the participant feel confident after recall) and problem-solving scores across all our experiments. The correlations were positive when participants recalled a success experience unrelated to the problem and negative when the memory was related. Thus, our research challenges an assumption in the literature that the relationship between self-efficacy and problem solving is always linear and positive.To end, we suggest some options that may help to mitigate the complexity of experimentally investigating autobiographical memory function. We also propose to reconceptualise the directive function as a process, whereby autobiographical memory recall can help people attain many needs. By doing so, existing, and future experimental findings can be integrated and help to refine the directive function theory—highlighting what, when, how, and for who, autobiographical memory recall is functional, and perhaps even the most advantageous approach, to achieving one’s needs.</p

    I aha ki ngā toheroa nō Horowhenua, what happened to the toheroa of the Horowhenua?

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    The toheroa (Paphies ventricosa) is a large suspension-feeding intertidal surf clam endemic to the sandy beaches of Aotearoa [New Zealand]. Toheroa are considered a taonga species (a concept similar to cultural keystone species) to the indigenous people of Aotearoa, Māori. My iwi [tribe] Ngāti Tūkorehe, and more widely Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga of the Horowhenua region, have a deep relationship with the toheroa and have suffered through the decline of the toheroa population and wish it could return to historical numbers.The concept of the pūtahitanga, which is the convergence or intersection of mātauranga Māori [Māori knowledge] and western science, framed as mātauranga supported by the tools of western science, was used for this study of toheroa.To begin the investigation into the Horowhenua population of toheroa, semi-structured interviews were completed with my whānau [extended family] to obtain an understanding of the importance of the toheroa, collection practices, and the key observations whānau made regarding the decline of the species in the Horowhenua. The loss of the toheroa in the Horowhenua was upsetting to Māori, and it resulted in the loss of cultural practices and identity. There is a great desire to revitalise toheroa populations and remind people of what the toheroa means to our whānau.Fisheries surveys were conducted of the toheroa populations on the Horowhenua coast between 1965 – 1977. Data from these surveys, and others, were extracted from reports and compared to assess trends in the overall population numbers and individual sizes of the toheroa on Horowhenua beaches. Toheroa populations declined to relatively small numbers by the end of the survey period. Using this population data, analysis of the decisions made regarding toheroa management for the Horowhenua beaches suggest that population numbers were not enough to support open-take seasons up to 1979, which could have further reduced the population to levels unable to support a future sustainable population.To assess the current status of toheroa populations on the Horowhenua coast, three studies focused on Kuku Beach were conducted. First, an adult and juvenile population survey was completed. No adult toheroa were found at Kuku Beach, however, undetermined juvenile Paphies species were found, as well as populations of the ghost shrimp (Biffarius filholi).Second, a larval survey was conducted as well as larval dispersal modelling to understand how toheroa larvae potentially move within and among populations across Aotearoa. Modelling indicated that larvae remain in the populations they are released from, which suggests that the Kuku Beach population cannot be re-seeded by larvae from larger populations that exist elsewhere. Finally, sampling of water and sediment for eDNA was conducted. An eDNA protocol for detecting toheroa was developed, however, no clear conclusions could be made from this investigation, but the approach shows future promise.Using the findings from this study, and previous studies, the future of toheroa on the Horowhenua coast are discussed using the whakataukī [proverb] “kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua”, which translates to “I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past”. What needs to be done to revitalise the toheroa in the Horowhenua was outlined, and why this is important for generating positive outcomes for the species and the relationship that people have with this taonga.</p

    Raranga: Supporting rangatahi Hauora through the integration of Kapa haka in music therapy practice.

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    This action research project explores the development of music therapy practice through the integration of Kapa haka into music therapy. The focus is to support Hauora amongst rangatahi in a school setting. This research was developed during a practicum placement at an outreach highschool for a music therapy service in Aotearoa New Zealand. The connection between te ao Māori and music therapy has previously been documented through kaupapa Māori research studies, however, the literature in this area is sparse. This research project aimed to explore how the integration of Kapa haka into music therapy practice can support rangatahi Hauora. Over three action research cycles, I planned, commenced, evaluated, and reflected upon focused research actions. Thematic analysis was adopted to find themes within the three action cycles and inductive and deductive analysis was used to identify four kaupapa evident across the research cycles; Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Tuakana-teina, and Tino rangatiratanga. The findings of this research show that the integration of Kapa haka into music therapy practice can support rangatahi Hauora through the raranga of the kaupapa; Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Tuakana-teina, and Tino rangatiratanga. Raranga is the Māori term for weaving or to weave. In this exegesis, raranga also refers to the interconnected and relational nature of the findings.</p

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    Victoria University of Wellington is based in New Zealand
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