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    Developing a motor analogy to teach children how to tackle safely in rugby union
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2023) Povey, Kayla
    Implicit motor learning strategies have been shown to have benefits when learning a new skill, because they encourage users to accumulate little to no declarative knowledge about the motor task. The aim of this thesis was to investigate whether a specific implicit motor learning approach, learning by analogy, could help children perform safer rugby tackles and potentially reduce the risk of concussions. Chapter One is a review of current literature and discusses concussions, concussions in rugby, various implicit motor learning theories, and current research. Chapter Two represents the process in which focus groups were held with small groups of people who all had varying experience of rugby tackling. The focus groups were designed to supply us with knowledge, common ideas and themes, and the fundamentals of a safe rugby tackling, to then help us develop an analogy or analogies that encompassed most of what defines a safe rugby tackle. The first challenge was to identify the important fundamentals in a rugby tackle. From the focus group, the fundamentals commonly mentioned were ‘same foot same shoulder’, ‘eyes focused upward’, ‘head to the side’, ‘cheek to cheek’, and ‘strong wrap’. Animals were a common theme mentioned among all groups, highlighting the importance of the use of animals when developing analogies for children. Based on this information, we were able to come up with two analogies “tackle like a raging bull” (analogy 1) and “tackle like an angry bear hugging a pillow” (analogy 2). Chapter Three details a pilot study that was conducted on 11-year-old rugby playing children. The pilot study was designed to test the two analogies that were developed in Chapter Two. All participants underwent two consecutive trials in a baseline control condition without receiving any instructions. Subsequently, half of the participants engaged in two trials using analogy 1, while the other group conducted two trials using analogy 2. The groups then swapped and completed the remaining analogy condition. The baseline control condition had the highest score across most of the tackling fundamentals, albeit not significantly different from either analogy 1 or analogy 2. Analogy 2 closely mirrored the control condition in most aspects. Notably, the 'dip' (cheek to cheek) aspect in analogy 2 scored marginally lower than the control, while 'same foot same shoulder' obtained a diminished score. However, analogy 2 exhibited superior performance in the wrapping technique, displaying similarities in other aspects as well. Conversely, the 'same foot same shoulder' fundamental received relatively low scores across all conditions. This informs us that more research is required to obtain conclusive data, with a larger participant group, stronger analysis methods, addressing the impracticality of specific fundamentals when tackling a bag versus a human, and developing analogy 2 “tackle like an angry bear hugging a pillow” further to include the aspects it scored low on.
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    Foresight in hindsight: Visions of the future from Julius Vogel, Āpirana Ngata, Truby King, and Ettie Rout, 1889-1923
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2024) Lemberg, Nicola Johanna
    This thesis examines seven future-focused texts authored by four New Zealanders: Julius Vogel, Āpirana Ngata, Truby King, and Ettie Rout. ‘The future’ is a neglected lens for historical research and this thesis explores the value of such an approach, using New Zealand society from the 1880s and to the 1920s as a case study. A methodological combination of textual analysis, biography, and historical contexts, including consideration of print culture, allows for nuanced examination of depictions of the future, and suggests such connections are vital to fully understanding histories of the future. This research serves as a framework to inform further exploration of historical future imaginings, either in New Zealand or in other geographic or temporal contexts. From Vogel’s novel Anno Domini 2000 (1889) to Ngata’s 1892 essay The Past and Future of the Maori to King’s and Rout’s twentieth-century guidebooks on the care of babies and the use of contraception, the four authors utilize various textual forms to communicate their imagined future, and commonly frame their ideas within concepts of utopia and dystopia. This thesis compares the futures depicted by male and female authors, and those emerging from Māori and Pākehā cultural contexts. It examines futures envisioned by politicians, community leaders, and ostracized individuals. Shaped by preoccupations with empire, gender, and identity, these future-focused texts highlight relationships between national and global spaces. This in turn allows for a fresh exploration of New Zealand’s past, and especially the country’s colonial histories.
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    Building trustworthy smart contracts using interactive theorem proving
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2024) Britten, Daniel
    There are varying approaches to the verification of smart contracts using formal methods. This thesis advocates for the use of high-level specifications coupled with a verified compiler to low-level bytecode, such as for the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Taking this approach allows for specifications to more closely match natural language, while ensuring that the specifications apply to the real bytecode executed on-chain. Interactive theorem proving can provide the foundation for developing provably correct smart contracts. Due to the immutable nature of smart contracts and their potential to manage highly valuable assets and tokens representing power, techniques to ensure their correctness are of paramount importance. This thesis extends the DeepSEA (Deep Simulation of Executable Abstractions) smart contract language targeting the Ethereum Virtual Machine by mitigating the issues associated with reentrancy and introducing a model of relevant aspects of a blockchain. This enables the specification and verification of two case studies which exemplify the approach of developing provably correct smart contracts. The specifications for the case studies are written in the language of the Coq Proof Assistant, making arbitrary mathematical statements expressible. The blockchain model enables stating and proving temporal properties relating to the execution of smart contract over time. While smart contracts are an ideal application area for formal methods in general and interactive theorem proving in particular, the techniques exemplified in this thesis could be applied throughout software engineering. The relatively young age of smart contract languages and typically small size of smart contract programs makes the application of interactive theorem proving more tractable. Future work could involve demonstrating the applicability to many interrelated smart contracts and to larger software projects in different domains. The first three chapters of this thesis cover introductory and background material. This is followed by the contributions to the DeepSEA system. The two case studies and the proof themes arising from them are then presented. Finally, concluding remarks and future work are discussed.
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    Posthumous documentary theatre: Re-presenting historical documentary material on stage
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2024) Mooney, Miriam (Missy)
    A practice predicated upon the verbatim re-presentation of non-fiction documents, interviews, personal writings, and other historical source materials on stage, documentary theatre frequently claims to produce theatrical experiences that represent ‘reality’ and ‘truth’. Yet, the symbiosis of real-world source material and a dynamic dramaturgy can be an intricate balancing act, as the theatre maker is often faced with the challenge of how to best navigate the tension between accurately representing ‘the real’ on stage and producing a dynamic theatre experience. Much of the scholarship engaging with documentary theatre has addressed the complex ethical-political process of speaking for others and the risk of misrepresentation that comes with making a real person into a documentary character. Consequently, theatre makers often strive to not only represent their documentary subjects accurately but also aim to increase their agency in the documentary theatre process by facilitating opportunities for dialogue, connection, and collaboration. Yet what happens when the theatre maker is unable to communicate with their subjects or extend a collaborative hand? Posthumous Documentary Theatre: Re-presenting Historical Documentary Material on Stage addresses a gap in the documentary theatre discourse and explores how the potential ethical considerations associated with the form may be further complicated when the documentary subjects are no longer living. This research takes the form of a PhD with a creative practice component that involved the creation of What Remains: The Love and Letters of Vita Sackville-West & Harold Nicolson. An original documentary play constructed primarily from posthumously published letters and personal writings; What Remains enabled a practical exploration of how theatre makers' ethical considerations for their deceased documentary subjects might influence their dramaturgical processes. Synthesising critical reflection on that creative process with existing documentary theatre theories and practices, this thesis offers findings that aim to be practically useful to others navigating the intersecting ethical and dramaturgical demands of representing the dead on stage in documentary theatre.
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    Human impact on the McMurdo Dry Valley soils of Antarctica: Extending the limits of DNA detection
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2024-05-21) Wakerley, Georgia L.J.
    Antarctica is commonly regarded as the most pristine place on Earth and is safeguarded by the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). The ATS designates the continent as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science” and sets out environmental principles regulating human activities. The obligations under the ATS include providing environmental impact assessments and leaving the environment minimally impacted after all operations. The associated human footprint inevitably increases as human activity increases in intensity and diversity on the continent. The human footprint is not clearly defined, and most investigation has focused on visible disturbances of physical (e.g., soil disturbance) and chemical (e.g., hydrocarbon spills) nature. The unseen human footprint remains to be investigated and quantified, which includes released genetic materials and human-associated microorganisms. Given the extremely low biomass in most of terrestrial Antarctica, these materials' presence can be a reliable indicator of human presence and activities. As part of New Zealand’s effort to carry out an evidence-based risk assessment of the McMurdo Dry Valley ecosystem (DryVER project), this research quantified human impact, in the form of DNA released from humans and human-associated microbiota, across spatial and temporal scales. This project was part of the MBIE grant entitled “Evidence-based Risk Assessment of the McMurdo Dry Valley Ecosystem”. Areas of human activity, including seasonal field camps and facilities zones, were selected as sampling sites in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDVs), from which soil samples were collected. Human-specific genetic and microbial markers were used with digital PCR to quantify human presence at the lowest possible detection limit across spatial scales. A marker targeting a human MT-CYB gene region was the best marker for detecting and predicting human trace up to 1 km from a highly occupied site. Human impact derived from mtDNA was accumulative with occupancy and greatest closest to a campsite. A marker targeting 16S rRNA of Bacteroides dorei, a human-associated gut bacterium, was used to detect faecal trace. The faecal signal was generally localised to the toilet area of a camp and was too low to predict the distance of detectable signal, regardless of the intensity of occupancy. A DNA longevity experiment was established in situ in Miers Valley to investigate DNA persistence in a cold desert across temporal scales. The results from this experiment demonstrated that intracellular and extracellular DNA remained detectable with endpoint PCR for at least two years. DNA persistence was not significantly affected by soil sterility or UV exposure but did accumulate damage over time. The direct outcome of this research will be a review of the environmental management systems in place, namely the McMurdo Dry Valleys Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) Management Plan. Better management will safeguard the unique MDV ecosystems by using the best practice to minimise anthropogenic impact and strengthen New Zealand’s stewardship over the Ross Dependency as one of the original 12 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty.

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