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    A Classical Oversight? The appropriateness and accessibility of Classical Studies to female students in Aotearoa New Zealand

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    Classical Studies is a subject that has a predetermined ‘canon’ of traditional texts and subjects that are recommended and expected to be studied. It focuses on the men of ancient Greece and Rome, whilst classifying non-Greeks and Romans as ‘barbarians’ or ‘other’. Women of the ancient world live comfortably outside the margins of the Classical Studies curriculum. This perception, and the continuation of teaching from a narrow and biased perspective without rigorous discussion on the impact it has in the classroom, perpetuates the gender and racial stereotypes found within. It begs the question, how can girls see themselves and their values in such a subject? Despite the values of critical thinking facilitated by this curriculum area, the perpetuation of “the dominant values of the culture of power, while at the same time failing to validate those values of minority groups” (Porter- Samuels, 2013, p.19) will continue to hinder the opportunity to diversify and grow Classical Studies as a subject. At the start of 2019, I suggested on the New Zealand Classical Studies teacher page on Facebook that I was contemplating changing my focus from men to women within the ancient world as I thought it would be more appropriate for my students of an all girls’ school. There was some excitement but also pushback, one commentator pointed out that maybe I was teaching “my hobby horses rather than the traditional Classics”. It was implied that I would be doing a disservice to my students by not sticking to the ‘traditional’ topics. Classical Studies is a Eurocentric subject that focuses on two civilisations that are inherently patriarchal and xenophobic. Two civilisations where the resources are dominated by men and everyone else has been ‘othered’. The purpose of this research is to uncover the lived experiences of female students within Classical Studies, in order to find out whether the subject is appropriate and accessible for them. It is a way to give a voice to the students. It is a way to hear their point of view on things like the curriculum, the pedagogy of their teachers and the environment. It is a way to remove assumptions, and replace them with genuine stories and experiences. It will hopefully be a catalyst for change. A way to give back to the amazing students I have had over the years. For this research I explored the New Zealand Curriculum and how Classical Studies is presented within it. I have looked at the research around educational achievement of females in secondary schools. To gain an insight into the lived experiences of female students in a Classical Studies classroom in Aotearoa New Zealand, I have had talanoa conversations with ten volunteers from both Year 12 and Year 13. These talanoa were eye-opening in their honesty and frustration. It is clear there needs to be change within Classical Studies, and the pedagogical approach of teachers. The participants were clear in their desire for women to be more visible

    KAUMĀTUATANGA Supporting School Leaders To Develop Cultural Values While Resisting The Dominance of Colonialism

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    In an education system that is asserting to the importance of Māori (indigenous people of Aotearoa) language, culture, identity and the history of Aotearoa (New Zealand) into the curriculum, there is direction from the Ministry of Education (MOE) for schools to reach out to iwi. What this looks like and how this can be achieved is not an easy task. This thesis follows the journey of three kaumātua (respected, knowledgeable elders, both female and male) working alongside the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) of a decile 10 kura auraki (mainstream primary school) where ākonga Māori (Māori students) were in the minority. The research examines what role kaumātua might have in guiding other schools to help tamariki Māori (Māori children) enjoy and achieve education success as Māori. It highlights the coming together of leaders from two different worldviews with this vision as a common purpose. Kaumātua in te ao Māori (the Māori world) are respected elders. Kaumātua are leaders, respected for their wisdom, knowledge and models of behaviour among other attributes. The Māui narratives are one example of demonstrating the characteristics of kaumātua. It was through his respected elders that Maui achieved so much. It was his grandfather who rescued him and taught him all he knew. It was his grandmother Mahuika who gave him fire and it was his kuia (female elder) Murirangiwhenua from whom he received the magic jawbone. The wisdom of Māori kaumātua has been recognised for centuries by Māori and yet kaumātua are often an untapped resource in the mainstream sector of education. In this thesis the kaumātua and members of the SLT share their experiences of working together and the learning and unlearning that has taken place over a period of four years from 2016 through 2019. They share their vulnerability, humility and strength in the goals they have worked towards over this period of time

    Beyond time and experience: An institutional approach and categorial framework for the analysis of waiting from a philosophical materialist perspective

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    This thesis proposes a novel theoretical framework for studying waiting as a multidimensional phenomenon, advancing beyond traditional approaches that often perceive it as a singular, homogenous, and purely temporal event. It asserts that waiting embodies temporal, spatial, and operational dimensions, each with dialectical and dynamic components. Rather than viewing waiting as an ontologically negative or undefined event, it is conceptualised as a material and objective process. Its axiological nature is neutral, not essentially negative or positive, with its classification primarily contingent upon the context. The research underscores several waiting processes as a social institution, emphasising its varied forms in different institutionalised contexts, thereby diverging from approaches that overemphasise these processes' subjective and experiential dimensions. The thesis, grounded in philosophical materialism, scrutinises the historical evolution of waiting, linking it to secular and non-secular concepts of hope and others, such as expectation and time. It critiques modern perceptions of waiting, especially its temporal hypostasis, advocating for a wider, materialist approach that incorporates often overlooked spatial and operational dimensions while not undermining temporal significance. The study introduces a set of categories from a philosophical materialist perspective to analyse waiting spaces' structural and functional elements. It explores the operational dimension of waiting concerning institutional structures and suggests that this dimension encompasses both spatial and temporal aspects. Concerning the temporal analysis, the research reveals multiple objective temporalities within the waiting processes, replacing the idea of a single waiting time with the notion of possible multiple times in several kinds of waiting processes. The final chapter applies these theoretical perspectives empirically, analysing institutionalised waiting processes in the current Cuban context. It successfully inspects the spatial, operational, and temporal components of waiting, prioritising the institutional character of these processes. The thesis concludes that understanding various waiting processes depends largely on institutional nature, including the psychological and subjective behaviours displayed during waiting. This thesis introduces a new institutional perspective on waiting studies, mainly related to social sciences approaches. At the same time, we recognise the need for ongoing exploration and discourse to further our understanding of this intriguing subject. The proposed materialist approach strives to enrich the epistemological status of waiting studies and augment our collective knowledge

    Understanding Allosteric Arginine Mutations Using Macromolecular Rate Theory

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    Enzyme catalysed reaction rates have been traditionally modelled with the Arrhenius and Eyring-Polanyi equations. These models assume that the reaction rate is exponential with temperature, and thus the natural log of the reaction rate versus 1/T is linear. Significant deviations from these models at high temperatures has traditionally been attributed to thermal denaturation. An increasing body of evidence has shown that denaturation alone is insufficient to account for these deviations from Arrhenius behaviour. Macromolecular rate theory (MMRT) accounts for these deviations with the introduction of the activation heat capacity (Δ‡) to the rate equation. The activation heat capacity is a consequence of the restriction in conformational freedom along the reaction coordinate, as an enzyme moves from the enzyme-substrate complex to the transition state complex – thus for an enzymatic reaction the activation heat capacity is negative. A non-zero activation heat capacity imparts temperature dependence to the activation entropy and activation enthalpy, introducing curvature to the rate equation independent of thermal denaturation. The activation heat capacity may itself be temperature dependent. MMRT equations of increasing complexity have been developed to reflect this and are suitable for different applications. This thesis explores the effects of allosteric arginine mutations on the temperature dependence of enzyme rates through the lens of MMRT and evolution using the model enzyme MalL. An in-depth analysis of a previously characterised arginine mutant is described along with four additional arginine mutants. The arginine mutants were designed to mimic urea ligand binding across the enzyme surface. These mutants were characterised kinetically and with biophysical methods. Two were further characterised structurally, with high resolution structures being produced. These mutant enzymes showed significant rate improvements at low temperatures, suggesting two possible mechanisms for evolution towards psychrophily. These arginine mutants showed significant improvement in crystallographic resolution, indicating surface arginine mutations may be a general route for crystallographic improvement

    Empowering Energy Innovation in the Communities of Aotearoa

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    Since the electricity grid began connecting more and more areas of Aotearoa New Zealand, we have been relying on technology that was fit for purpose for a 1980s future. In the last ten years, the New Zealand power system has seen an increase in non-dispatchable generation and an accelerated rate of electrification, creating supply and demand volatility. Aotearoa New Zealand uses more electricity in homes, cars, factories, and devices than ever, yet the generation currently installed around the country is not increasing at the rate of usage or predicted usage. As a result, the national grid operator, Transpower, runs closer to constraint limits on cold evenings every year, has recently been fined over handling a low-generation event in 2021, and subsequently has been issuing more Customer Advisory Notices (CAN) than ever before. Through a combination of technology-driven development and energy infrastructure, the energy sector has the potential to find new ways to access more electricity through the use of existing generation, or through infrastructure predicted to exist, in more innovative and efficient ways. While companies are working on specific solutions, many of these are required to have an economic benefit for the company by bringing in revenue, as opposed to providing relief to the communities these companies operate in and have been supported. Technology-driven change should support these communities. This research focuses on how technology driving change in the energy space can be used more effectively to provide security of supply to communities that have yet to be considered when energy policy was written. The first phase of this research analysed small-scale and medium-heat processes in a beverage factory with solar panels to understand and show how solar generation can be used to offset a factory’s electricity load from the grid. Case Study One analysed how this approach could reduce demand and reliance on the grid by allowing electricity to go where it is required on cold evenings. A monitoring system was custom created for Chia Sisters as a way to provide a deeper understanding of their electricity and solar usage. The system has been available as an open-source project on GitHub for use by other companies in a similar position to Chia Sisters. The second phase of this research simulated the electricity storage potential in electric buses by applying Vehicle to Grid technology advancements to school buses in the Wellington region through Case Study Two. This simulation took advantage of stationary school buses, which sit idle during school hours and evenings. Nationally, school buses are changing and are required to become electric in the next decade, with electric school buses expected to be a part of the transport system by 2035. By combining these two community-centred approaches to improving ex- isting infrastructure, smaller communities have potential to gain generation opportunities through a deployable system that would monitor microgrids and monitoring systems. The theorised Community Energy Management System (CEMS) looks at all the inputs (generation and electric vehicles), usage times, and electricity usage trends in remote, rural, or isolated communities to allow electricity to be used more effectively in our communities. These communities often need to be at the forefront of legislation planning. Such a system shows how supply and demand has the potential to change in communities across New Zealand over time by using a community management system. Approaches such as the CEMS theorised have been seen in emergency climate response situations already in New Zealand, so by applying these more resilient microgrid systems with generation stemming from factory roof solar, storage from school buses, and being used in communities, this overall process could become a crucial part of our energy future

    Lessons learned from the MV Rena: Reimagining maritime and resource management law

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    The main research question in this thesis is what lessons can Aotearoa New Zealand learn from the MV Rena grounding accident? This research is an historical account of the legal framework existing at the time of the MV Rena grounding. In addition, the thesis will outline the surrounding marine environment to examine the relevant regulatory system. In the early morning of 5th October 2011, the MV Rena vessel struck Ōtāiti (Astrolabe Reef). Initially, the accident concerned a response to the safety of the crew on board the MV Rena. However, the seriousness of the damage to the hull with part of Ōtāiti reef protruding through the keel, presented issues concerning the recovery strategy for the vessel and cargo from the coastal marine area. The MV Rena grounding released oil, cargo, and equipment into the surrounding marine environment of Ōtāiti. The oil, cargo and equipment travelled by the ocean currents, spreading across large areas of the ocean. This caused environmental effects across the coastal marine area in the Bay of Plenty region. The grounding was the “worst maritime environmental disaster” Aotearoa New Zealand had ever seen. The government of the day and the MV Rena owner are committed to international obligations for preparing and responding to maritime disasters and marine pollution. However, the government of Aotearoa New Zealand was not a party to international obligations addressing groundings relative to bunker oil. In addition, when responding to environmental effects from the grounding the legal processes regulating the maritime and resource management system, caused distress to the local community in the Bay of Plenty region. Specifically, the people of Motiti Island (“Motiti”), relative to preserving and protecting their cultural and spiritual relationship with Ōtāiti and Motiti. An analysis of maritime and resource management law at the international level and domestic level is explored in this thesis. Such as, marine pollution, and indigenous peoples’ rights (iwi Māori) in connection with the Maritime Transport Act 1994, the Resource Management Act 1991, the Waitangi Tribunal process and related planning and policy instruments. The research concludes that, had the government of the day ratified relevant conventions prior to the MV Rena grounding incident, the outcome of the location of the ship may have been a completely different result, such as a full wreck removal, without opposition. Additionally, the research concludes that the gap in the laws regulating marine environments did not equip iwi Māori with protecting their interests, resulting in a spiritual injustice to the people of Motiti. This research reveals that maritime and resource management law still has a long way to go with supporting the indigenous people’s voice in Aotearoa New Zealand for sustainable marine solutions. This thesis conclude with recommendations directed at better maritime and resource management regulations and indigenous peoples’ involvement

    Development and Validation of the Early Parenting Support Network Questionnaire: Adding more dimensions to social support research

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    Instruments measuring social support in parenting often only measure the source or type of support offered, or the perceived helpfulness of that support. They often do not indicate who is providing what type of support, or they include items that are not explicitly applicable to early parenting. Many existing measures also are not sensitive to modern parenting, potentially excluding important aspects such as the support of a stepparent or non-resident biological parent. The Early Parenting Support Network Questionnaire (EPSNQ) was developed then tested using a group of 341 primary caregivers of children under 2 who participated in the Growing Together: Early Parenting Experiences Study. The instrument provides information regarding support source types, with items relating to instrumental, emotional, and informational support. The potential support sources include Partner, Other Parent (a non-resident biological parent), Family, Friends, Childcare Professional, and Other. There is also a single item on a 5-point Likert scale related to Perceived Lack of Support. Statistical analysis was undertaken to assess construct and convergent validity using the existing Family Support Scale (FSS) and Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Validity and reliability were found to be adequate. Test-retest of a group of 36 participants indicated adequate reliability. The EPSNQ has utility as a validated and reliable measure of social support in early parenting with potential applications for both research and clinical purposes

    Extracting remotely sensed water quality parameters from shallow intertidal estuaries

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    Sentinel-2 imagery is potentially ideal for providing a rapid assessment of the ecological condition of estuarine water due to its high temporal and spatial resolution and coverage. However, for optically shallow waters, the problem of isolating the effect of seabed reflectance from the influence of water properties makes it difficult to use the observed surface reflectance to monitor water quality. In this study, we adopt a methodology based on Lyzenga’s model to estimate water quality properties such as the dominant wavelength and diffuse attenuation coefficient (Kd) of shallow estuarine waters. Lyzenga models the observed reflectance (R) using four parameters: total water depth (z), sea-bed reflectance (Rb), water reflectance (Rw) and Kd. If Rb is known a priori and multiple observations of R are available from different total water depths, we show that Lyzenga’s model can be used to estimate the values of the remaining two parameters, Kd and Rw. Observations of R from different water depths can either be taken from the same image at different proximal locations in the estuary (“spatial method”) or from the same pixel observed at different tidal stages (“temporal method”), both assuming homogeneous seabed and water reflectance properties. Tests in our case study estuary show that Kd and Rw can be estimated at water depths less than 6.4 m. We also show that the proximity restriction for the reflectance correction with the temporal method limits outcomes to monthly or seasonal resolution, and the correction with the spatial method performs best at a spatial resolution of 60 m. The Kd extracted from the blue band correlates well with the observed Kd for photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) (r2 = 0.66) (although the relationship is likely to be estuary-specific). The methodology provides a foundation for future work assessing rates of primary production in shallow estuaries on large scales

    The role of climate change in extreme rainfall associated with Cyclone Gabrielle over Aotearoa New Zealand’s East Coast

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    Aotearoa is a country with good channels for communicating forecasts of extreme rainfall. Significant warning was able to be given for Cyclone Gabrielle of expected heavy rainfall and the potential for rapidly rising rivers, which may have reduced impacts. Still, the significant damage, economic cost, and loss of life can be linked to factors such as a reliance on flood protection systems and infrastructure that are not built to withstand such extreme flood events, settlements in highly flood-prone regions, and social vulnerability factors that can reduce coping capacity such as higher rates of disability and unemployment amongst Māori communities. Land use changes that reduced soil stability, combined with deforestation and forestry slashing likely also contributed to the impacts. Future efforts to reduce vulnerability should focus on addressing shortcomings such as updating infrastructure to be built to the “new normal”, and strengthening early-warning systems for impacts, social connectedness, knowledge, skills and awareness of natural hazards which can improve risk perception and increase self-protective action based on a forecast or warning. Adaptation efforts must be inclusive of a variety of stakeholder viewpoints, especially Indigenous cultural values that may differ from Pākehā views of flood risk management

    How can genomic data inform biological invasions?

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    Rates of biological invasions are increasing, with global trade and climate change causing significant damage to biodiversity, human well-being, primary industries, and economies around the world. However, our ability to predict and prevent future invasions is limited by significant gaps in our mechanistic understanding of the invasion process. Advances in next generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics make it possible to investigate potential genomic factors that drive invasion success with much higher resolution and accuracy than prior research based on a small number of genetic loci. My thesis argues for the value of population genomic data in invasion biology, first examining the uptake of genomics in invasion research and then providing a case study for using genomic data to understand invasion patterns of pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella). The first analysis (Chapter 2) compares the extent to which population genetic data versus population genomic data, including reference genomes, have been used or are publicly available to study globally invasive species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) “100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species” (WAS) list. In this chapter, I demonstrate that ‘invasion genomics’ is still in its infancy with respect to research uptake: while 82% of species on the WAS list have been studied using some form of population genetic data, just 32% have been studied using population genomic data. Further, 55% of the WAS list species lack a reference genome, however 18% of these were sequenced in the last three years, indicating a growing investment in genomic resources that looks promising for future invasion genomics research. The second analysis (Chapter 3) showcases population genomic data being used as a tool to inform a biological invasion. Pink bollworm is one of the most destructive global pests of cotton, costing farmers millions of dollars each year in productivity losses and management efforts. A small population of pink bollworm is currently established in North West Australia, where it poses a significant threat to the expanding cotton industry there. In this chapter, I analysed genomic data in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – obtained through a reduced representation, genotyping-by- sequencing technique (DArTseq) – for global populations of pink bollworm to elucidate the population structure and connectivity patterns of the pest. My results show that pink bollworm populations in my dataset have low genetic diversity and strong differentiation between populations from different continents. Importantly, the high genetic differentiation between Australia and other continents reduces concerns about gene flow to North West Australia, particularly from populations in India and Pakistan that have evolved resistance to transgenic insecticidal cotton. As species continue to move globally beyond their natural ranges, understanding how genome-driven processes facilitate invasion is critical. Genomic data can enhance our mechanistic understanding of the invasion process and inform proactive management of invasive species. Yet, despite progress in this space, there remain limitations to the breadth and depth of such studies that are highlighted throughout my thesis. These represent valuable research opportunities. With the cost of generating genomic data constantly decreasing and long-read sequencing bridging the gap for many taxon-specific challenges, genomic data is starting to address many previously intractable research questions and has the potential to improve overall biosecurity outcomes worldwide


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