Theses and Dissertations

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 13305
  • Item
    The poetry sequence as sustained meditation : a critical and creative thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Creative Writing at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University, Albany, Aotearoa New Zealand. EMBARGOED until 8th February 2026
    (Massey University, 2024) Thorstensen, Nicola Christine
    This thesis examines the poetry sequence as sustained meditation. It uses two investigative methods: a critical essay and a poetry manuscript containing four discrete sequences and an epilogue. It explores, both creatively and critically, how a sequence works, what holds it together. The critical essay (30 percent) examines poetry sequences by two contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand poets: “Reprogramming the heart” from Helen Heath’s collection Are friends electric? and “Tender” from Janet Newman’s collection Unseasoned Campaigner. Each sequence comprises a female speaker’s contemplation of loss and grief, which seemed apt as correlatives to my creative work. I analyse how the poems speak to one another via repeated images and motifs to operate as sequences, creating a whole greater than the constituent poems. Specifically, in both cases, the echoing images and motifs support the development of extended elegies, with an emphasis on a version of the traditional movement from lament to consolation in Heath and an emphasis in Newman on a contemporary version of the elegy’s traditional praise movement, one that declines to idealise. My poetry manuscript (70 percent) explores two connected family tragedies. I use the findings from the critical essay to inform the methodology in the practice of my creative work, notably the recurrence of image and motif. The first sequence, “Fragmented”, tracks my paternal grandmother’s cognitive decline following an undiagnosed head injury sustained after being struck by a car. The second, third and fourth sequences, titled “Intensive Care”, “Valuables” and “Reclamation”, trace the aftermath of my family’s involvement in a fatal car accident which was precipitated by my grandmother’s death. “Intensive Care” is set contemporaneously to the crash, containing aspects of a child’s perspective, whilst in “Valuables” and “Reclamation” the speaker attempts in the present to elucidate the impact of the crash from some measure of critical distance. The epilogue contextualises the subject matter with more recent material. Writing the manuscript has challenged me to shape emotional response to deeply personal experience into an artwork, to seek the universal in the specific.
  • Item
    Risk of low energy availability and level of nutrition knowledge in recreational trail runners in Aotearoa/New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Human Nutrition, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2024) Buch, Tina
    Introduction: Trail running as an endurance sport is growing in popularity. It is characterised by long event durations and extreme environments that are likely to result in high exercise energy expenditure. Energy availability is defined as the amount of energy available to support normal physiological functions after subtracting the energy cost of exercise from energy intake. Insufficient energy intake, increased exercise, or a combination of both can result in a state of low energy availability (LEA). Research has demonstrated a high prevalence of risk of LEA (~19%-85%) among both elite and recreational athletes, across both sexes and in endurance sports such as running. One possible contributor to LEA risk is poor nutrition knowledge. However, little is known about the risk of LEA and nutrition knowledge in trail runners. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of LEA risk in recreational trail runners and investigate associations with nutrition knowledge. Methods: This study was a cross-sectional study of adult trail runners in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The study required the completion of an amalgamated survey consisting of the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q), the Low Energy Availability in Males Questionnaire (LEAM-Q), and the Platform for Evaluating Athlete Knowledge in Sports Nutrition Questionnaire (PEAKS-NQ). Demographics and trail-running experience questions were integrated into the survey. LEAF-Q scores ≥8 were classified as LEA risk, and for LEAM Q, a higher score indicated lower sex drive. Data were analysed in SPSS version 29 (IBM Corporation). Comparisons between groups (e.g. ‘low LEA risk’ vs. ‘LEA risk’) were performed using a chi-square test for categorical variables, and an independent samples t-test for continuous variables. Results are presented as mean ± standard deviation. Results: The final survey sample was 217 (140 females, 42.0 ± 10.7 years; 77 males, 47.9 ± 12.1 years) for the LEAF-Q, LEAM-Q, and trail running questions; and 152 for the PEAKS-NQ. Participants ranged from beginners to very experienced trail runners who regularly participated in short 5-9km events through to ultramarathons. Thirty-one percent of females met the classification for LEA risk. Twenty-three percent of males were identified as having low sex drive, a marker of LEA risk. The LEAF-Q/sex drive score was higher in those with LEA risk (10.7 ± 2.3 / 4.5 ± 2.0) compared to those with low LEA risk (3.9 ± 2.3 / 1.5 ± 1.1, p < .001). Education, body mass index, weekly training hours and level of trail running experience did not differ between trail runners with LEA risk or low LEA risk. However, females with LEA risk were younger (38.0 ± 12.6 vs. 43.6 ± 9.4, P < .05), and more likely to report a weight change in the last six months (75.9% vs. 40.3%, P < 0.5). Males with LEA risk more readily reported a chronic illness (23.5% vs. 6.8%, P < 0.5) or food allergy/intolerance (27.7% vs. 8.6%, P < 0.5). For the general nutrition knowledge questions, 78.6 ± 10.1% for females and 75.8 ± 10.7% for males were answered correctly. However, sports nutrition scores were lower (females, 66.3 ± 13.4%; males, 63.2 ± 15.5%) with the lowest mean scores observed for ‘fuel for during events’ (8.8% correct). There was no difference in nutrition knowledge between individuals classified as low LEA risk vs LEA risk. Conclusion: The findings suggest that recreational trail runners are a group of active individuals who are at risk of LEA and that they might benefit from more sports-specific nutrition education.
  • Item
    An analysis of expertise-induced amnesia : semantic and episodic recall of chess moves across different skill levels and conditions : a Master's thesis submitted to Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Master of Science (Psychology) Degree
    (Massey University, 2024) Barr, Nicholas
    The chess domain was used to test the hypothesis for expertise-induced amnesia within a cognitive sport context, particularly examining the decrease in declaratively accessible episodic memories of chess moves as skill levels increase. While this hypothesis has been supported in a sensorimotor golf putting task (Beilock & Carr, 2001), it is untested in a cognitive chess task. Thirty adult participants were recruited online from chess clubs worldwide, classified into highly skilled (Elo rating over 1900) and competent (Elo rating under 1400) groups based on their skill level. Participants were then assigned to the rapid, random, or blitz condition. Rapid and random conditions varied by chess position configuration, while rapid and blitz conditions differed in time control. The random and blitz conditions also differed in both chess position configuration and time control. The study examined generic knowledge and episodic memories of online chess moves in competent and high skilled players across different conditions. Centipawn values of the best moves were calculated by Stockfish 14.1. De Groot’s four phases were used by scoring how many of the phases (0-4) participants recalled when describing the thought process involved in making their chess move. The primary finding indicated that expertise-induced amnesia occurs in the cognitive sport of chess, suggesting an association between skill acquisition and automaticity. These findings align with previous research by De Groot (1946/1978) and Chase and Simon (1973a), emphasizing the importance of fast processes in chess skill. Furthermore, future research directions, limitations, and practical implications are discussed.
  • Item
    International faculty member’s perceived Professional Learning and Development (PLD) experiences at a Japanese university : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education in Teaching and Learning at Massey University, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2024) Ju, Lucia Sunyoung
    This thesis examines international faculty members’ (IFM) current perceptions of professional learning and development (PLD) in Japanese universities. Recent internationalisation initiatives by the Japanese government involved hiring faculty members from overseas to become agents of change. These faculty members are tasked with introducing new educational theories and pedagogy and engaging in research. However, IFM encountered challenges in integrating into Japanese universities due to language barriers, cultural misunderstandings and work-related factors. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the current situation of PLD for IFM, data were collected via semi-structured interviews with eight IFM across universities in Japan. The data were analysed using Braun and Clark’s (2006) six phases of thematic analysis. The analysis showed the alignment between the factors that impeded IFM’s integration into Japanese universities and their limited participation in PLD. Nonetheless, IFM recognised the importance of communication and engagement in PLD and actively sought learning opportunities. Currently, there is little to no published work about IFM’s perception of PLD in Japanese universities. Therefore, a key strength of this study was that it could serve as a base for future studies that investigate IFM’s perceptions of PLD in other East Asian countries and IFM new to the teaching profession, women IFM involvement in Japanese universities and IFM’s perceptions of specific PLD (i.e., peer observation, feedback etc.)
  • Item
    A sociohistorical perspective of PTSD : how scientific explanations and approaches to posttraumatic stress can be enhanced by the humanistic psychology and the narrative experience of trauma, Massey University
    (Massey University, 2023) Chan, S.
    Current understandings of posttraumatic stress today have been built upon the foundations of Freudian psychoanalysis, which has continued to dominate mainstream psychology, in recent times being empirically backed by modern-day cognitive psychology and neuroscience. However, the implication which these physiology-centric explanations hold is that they have a tendency to reduce mental distress caused by trauma to a disorder, namely posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma involves a psychologically distressing event occurring within the external world, separate from an individual, and has been identified as an experience. To fully conceptualise and gain a greater understanding of the effects of trauma on people – as both groups and individuals – the narrative mode of human experience, the role of existential meaning has in recovering from trauma, and how trauma affects people on a spiritual level must not be disregarded. Research from significant areas of humanistic and narrative psychology, including prominent Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Victor Frankl, has been detailed in respect to traumatic events and how they are experienced by people for important consideration.
  • Item
    Bayesian spatial-temporal statistics for epidemic risk estimation and modelling : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Statistics at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2024) Zhou, You
    This thesis focuses on employing Bayesian methods for spatiotemporal modeling of various types of epidemiological or health-related spatial-temporal data. Spatial data types include point pattern data, point reference (geostatistical) data, and area-level (lattice) data. Different types of spatial data have different spatial resolution and virtual assumptions. Therefore, the spatial and spatiotemporal modeling approaches for different data types also differ. The thesis introduces spatial modeling methods for three types of epidemiological data, including discrete spatial model, linear geostatistical model, generalized linear geostatistical model, Poisson point process, and log-gaussian Cox process. Additionally, we elaborate on extending spatial modeling to spatiotemporal modeling for various data types. This extension is relatively intuitive to implement due to the flexibility of Bayesian methods and hierarchical Bayesian models. We used two epidemiological datasets as examples; one is Campylobacteriosis cases in the Manawatu region of New Zealand during the period Mar 2005-Sep,2016, and another dataset is from the SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance program launched in 2022 in Aotearoa, New Zealand, which is used to monitor and track potential cases of COVID-19. When modeling COVID-19 using wastewater epidemiology data in New Zealand, we employ the INLA-SPDE method. This approach, a Bayesian analysis method for spatial data on intricate grids, represents a new frontier in Bayesian disease mapping techniques and has practical applications. Regarding Bayesian computational methods, we introduced the traditional Monte Carlo sampling method, the Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, and the integrated nested Laplace approximation (INLA), an approximate Bayesian inference method. Compared to commonly used MCMC methods, INLA has a significant advantage in providing precise parameter estimates in less time and is user-friendly through the R-INLA package. R-INLA conducted all the Bayesian-related computations for this thesis. Finally, we discussed the transformation of data types related to the flexible use of spatial epidemiological data and modeling methods. It's crucial to model flexibly according to the problem we aim to solve in epidemiological modeling rather than adhering to specific data formats corresponding to particular models.
  • Item
    Enhancing connections : international medical graduates cultural orientation programmes in rural Māori communities : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology - Health Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2024) Malcolm, Luke Marshall
    International Medical Graduates (IMGs) supply a significant proportion of the General Practitioners (GPs) in rural Aotearoa New Zealand. In Te Tai Tokerau Northland, these communities often consist of large Māori communities that have their own specific cultural realities that shape how we experience hauora (health). This thesis explores the experiences and worldviews of these two groups and how cultural orientation programmes shape medical interactions. I employ reflexive journalling along with semi-structured interviews, to document current IMG orientation practices from the perspective of IMGs and local Iwi leadership in the Hokianga. Participants are developed from Te Tai Tokerau with a focus on Hauora Hokianga, the local Māori health provider. A total of 7 participants were formally interviewed, consisting of 5 IMGs and 2 representatives of local Iwi. Key findings from this research indicate that IMGs need more time and educational support to integrate successfully into rural Māori communities. There is a desire within these locations to reconnect with traditional ways-of-being that encourage interconnectivity and promote health through decolonization. Developing cultural awareness education programmes through the guidance of local Iwi, helps to communicate the socio-cultural contexts that shape how the community experience hauora. The broader significance of my work is to further understand how the worldviews of two disparate groups can be bridged to improve health outcomes for rural Māori.
  • Item
    Tikanga framework for improving Māori mental health and well-being : localised development and application : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology (Health Psychology endorsement), Massey University, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2023) Smyth, Kimberley Grace Te Rangi
    Many mental health approaches used in Aotearoa, New Zealand are predominately Global North top-down approaches and do not adhere to Te Tiriti o Waitangi because they do not have substantive consultation and collaboration with Māori. Top-down approaches risk perpetuating culturally unsafe practices that do not achieve improved mental health outcomes for Māori clients. Community-based approaches that collaborate with Māori, empower them to build upon their own cultural strengths to benefit their mental health and well-being. This master’s thesis explores what a tikanga-informed, culturally safe framework for mental health could look like from a localised perspective. There were two research aims. The first aim was to identify tikanga-informed values for improving mental health and well-being for Māori specific to Bream Bay. The second aim was to develop a localised tikanga-informed framework for improving Māori mental health and well-being, which can be used by the Bream Bay Community Support Trust (BBCST) to provide culturally safe support for their clients. This study is based on Kaupapa Māori theory and utilises a Kaupapa Māori research qualitative approach via semi-structured interviews and hui. Thirteen participants were interviewed. They were experts in mātauranga Māori, tikanga Māori, and mental health or education. The study identified five tikanga-informed values that could contribute to improving the mental health and well-being of Māori in Bream Bay. These values were foundational in developing a strengths-based mental health and well-being framework, Māwhaiwhai Kaupapa. Notably, this project demonstrates how localised tikanga-based approaches can be developed collaboratively for the benefit of a community. This study contributes to new knowledge by joining the small pool of bottom-up Indigenous studies for mental health and well-being. This research is further significant because this knowledge can provide a template for other Māori health providers as a basis for developing their own tikanga models of health.
  • Item
    Phenotypic and genetic diversity in nitrate-responsive regulation of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in Medicago truncatula : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Plant Breeding at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand. EMBARGOED until 16th April 2026
    (Massey University, 2024) Dawson, Gregory Peter
    Finding alternatives to synthetic nitrogen fertilisers is important in order to reduce human fossil fuel use. An alternative method is biological nitrogen fixation by legume-rhizobia symbiosis, but the amount of nitrogen fixed by symbiosis is too small to fully replace use of synthetic fertilisers in high-productivity agricultural systems. Supplementing fertiliser is inefficient because symbiotic fixation is downregulated by plants when nitrogen fertilisers are present in the soil. In this study, several Medicago HapMap Project accessions are tested for sensitivity to nitrates. It was shown that nitrate in soil causes the plant host to regulate new infections by rhizobia and rhizobial nitrogen-fixing activity in a partially independent manner. Sensitivity to nitrates varied widely between accessions. Several accessions were identified with minimal inhibition of infections under nitrate conditions, and others were identified that show only moderate inhibition of symbiotic nitrogen fixation activity.--Shortened abstract
  • Item
    Assessing key physical properties of the Rotorua, Kaharoa and Taupō tephras for their potential use in hydroponics : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Earth Science at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
    (Massey University, 2024) McLachlan, Susan
    Food security is an increasing concern as global populations grow and fertile land availability decreases. Hydroponics, where plants are grown in a soilless medium or nutrient solution, is a potential method of securing food supplies. Understanding the physical and chemical properties of growth media is important as they influence plant growth and productivity. Pumice, a vesicular lightweight material produced by volcanic eruptions, is used in some areas as a growth medium due to its ability to support plant growth. This natural resource is abundant in New Zealand but currently underutilised. The Taupō and Okataina Volcanic Centres (TVC and OVC) in the Central North Island have produced vast volumes of pyroclastic material in the last >60,000 years. This study focused on some of their youngest eruptives, the Kaharoa (OVC), Rotorua (OVC) and Taupō Y (TVC) tephras, to assess their suitability as hydroponic growth media. Samples of the Kaharoa, Rotorua, Taupō Y2 and Y5 deposits and the commercially available Daltons pumice were characterised for grain size then split into hydroponic grades of 1-4 mm and 4-8 mm. The physical properties were used to define relationships between volcanological and hydroponic parameters. Componentry of the grades and pumice clast morphology, texture, density, and porosity were characterised. Vertical variations in the Rotorua and Taupō tephra profiles reflect changes in the eruption plume, degassing and/or conduit processes during the eruption. Settling velocities are reflected in lateral changes in pumice clast shape, size, and density in the Kaharoa deposits. The hydroponic parameters water holding capacity (WHC), bulk density and total porosity were found to be closely related to clast density and porosity and generally fall within the range of the tested hydroponic media. However, tephra WHC was generally lower than that of the hydroponic media. The low bulk density of the tephras particularly the 4-8 mm grade make them a relatively light material, however, their low WHC may limit their usefulness as a growing medium or require more frequent or alternate methods of irrigation. The higher bulk density and WHC of the 1-4 mm grade means it is likely to be better suited for many species.