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    Consequences of shellfish die-offs on seafloor biodiversity
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2024) Crosbie, Caleb
    Coastal soft sediment habitats contain highly productive benthic communities that provide numerous ecological services. Many of these functions, processes and services are underpinned by the behaviour, density and diversity of the resident macrofaunal community. Climate change has caused heat waves to become more regular and extreme, causing die-off’s of functionally important shellfish beds, potentially generating large shifts in benthic community structure and functioning. Recent studies of the New Zealand intertidal cockle (Austrovenus stutchburyi) dieoff events have focused on cockle population recovery, but there is very little understanding of how the rest of the macrofaunal community responds. To understand how the macrofaunal communities respond to cockle-die offs, a manipulative experiment was undertaken at 23 sites in four estuaries on the northeast coast of the North Island. In late summer, at each site we established a 9m2 control and 9m2 exclusion plot. One year later, we sampled all plots for macrofauna and sediment properties. Results indicate a strong relationship between treatment type and community composition, with none of the exclusion treatments returning to predisturbance community compositions. Furthermore, that recovery was largely estuary specific and community composition following disturbance was highly variable within exclusion treatments. Statistical analysis highlighted that exposure to high intensity wind-wave activity and polychaete dominance within estuaries could explain the relatively improved recovery of Ongare sites within Tauranga harbour. Additionally, there are observable variations in cockle recruitment between sites for both adults and juveniles. This experiment explores whether the removal of cockles, as key habitat forming species, selects for a different macrofaunal community type. The observed changes in community structure can be linked to shifts in ecosystem functioning in these soft sediment habitats.
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    Improving cyber defence for critical national infrastructure in New Zealand
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2024) Parmar, Bhojraj
    The challenge of securing comprehensive services enabled by cyber-physical technologies is becoming increasingly acute. Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Operational Technology (OT) environments have been in place for several decades. With a combination of computer software, hardware components and industrial/commercial use, these systems are essential in the control and automation of countless industrial procedures and processes that provide indispensable human services in most countries; they make it possible to operate and maintain such operations as the flow of energy through power grids, the treatment and supply of clean water to billions of people, and the maintenance of life saving medical facilities around the world. This research aims to critically analyse New Zealand's existing cybersecurity strategies and approaches in its defence of Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) organisations operating OT and ICS environments. In this regard, the research draws on international best practices, and proposes a set of hypotheses and actionable insights to fortify cyber resilience for CNIs. It also explores how government-enforced frameworks and standards improve cyber defence for CNIs along with improved accountability. Learnings from this research may be used by policy makers, cyber security leaders, and the government of New Zealand in their consideration of and consultations on academic and pragmatic application, for the development or adoption and enforcement of cyber security standards for CNIs in New Zealand. The essence of this thesis lies in its commitment to contributing to the broader discourse on cybersecurity for OT and ICS environments--particularly in safeguarding critical infrastructures--thereby enhancing the security and welfare of nations in a dynamically changing threat landscape. To achieve the aforementioned aim, this thesis undertakes an analysis of cyber security standards and frameworks that governments around the globe--especially within the countries represented in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States--have enforced for CNIs operating OT and ICS environments. Additionally, the thesis examines whether there are other geographies that are a closer fit culturally and economically for New Zealand to learn from and to emulate when it comes to considering future strategies for improving cyber defence for CNIs. This thesis further explores how systematic, strategic, and collaborative efforts in combination with government enforced frameworks and standards improve cyber defence for CNI and OT and ICS environments. It is guided by comparative analysis, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative data, including policy document reviews, expert interviews, and studies of international best practices.
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    He raraunga inamata, he toronga ānamata, he huanga āke tonu atu: A multifaceted approach to improving quality of life for upper limb amputees
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2024) August, Luke
    This thesis investigates innovative approaches to enhance the quality of life for upper limb amputees, integrating advanced prosthetic design, neurocontrol systems, and Māori knowledge systems. With the prevalence of prosthetic rejection and limitations in current designs affecting amputees' daily functionality and psychological well-being, a multifaceted strategy is essential. This research aims to address these challenges by improving prosthetic functionality, user control mechanisms, and incorporating cultural perspectives into prosthetic development. The study first focuses on the design, development, and evaluation of four low-cost prosthetic hands. Assessing their Degrees of Freedom (DoF), Range of Motion (RoM), and Kapandji scores. The research proposes a novel hybrid coupled-tendon system. This system aims to combine the adaptability of underactuated designs with the precision control of coupled mechanisms, enhancing the prosthetic hands' functionality and grasp versatility. In exploring control mechanisms, an EEG-based control system was developed to improve the intuitiveness of prosthetic control. Through comparative analysis of motor execution and action observation training regimes, facilitated by a digital twin, the study evaluates the efficacy of these methods in enhancing users' control over the prosthetics. The research identifies limitations in the classification of multiple active grasps and suggests potential improvements through augmented and virtual reality training environments. This thesis incorporates Māori perspectives by examining how mātauranga Māori can inform and enrich prosthetic design and usage. Through the analysis of pūrākau Māori, this work highlights the importance of considering the mauri, whakapapa of materials in prosthetic manufacturing and the implications of tapu on control systems. This inclusion aims to create culturally resonant devices that acknowledge and integrate the spiritual and cultural dimensions of the user's identity, offering a holistic approach to prosthetic development. This interdisciplinary research contributes to the field by proposing a comprehensive framework that not only advances prosthetic technology but also aligns with cultural values and practices. By addressing the technical, psychological, and cultural needs of upper limb amputees, the project underscores the potential of combining engineering innovation with cultural wisdom to significantly improve amputees' autonomy and well-being. The findings advocate for a more inclusive and holistic approach to prosthetic development, emphasizing the importance of user-centric design and cultural competency in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with limb loss.
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    Site-specific performance rituals in the Anthropocene
    (Thesis, The University of Waikato, 2024-05-27) Claus, Johanna
    In this creative practice PhD, I investigated site-specific performance rituals in the Anthropocene. Driven by the urge to respond to the challenges of the current time, I examined how different seasonal rituals might be expressed in specific sites in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Furthermore, including participants from diverse cultural backgrounds, and carrying an awareness of the complexities of colonialism, I analysed insights from key ritual experts to enhance my understanding of ritual practices within the specific socio-cultural and environmental context of Aotearoa. Inspired by critical posthumanist philosophies, I viewed ritual practices through a lens that considered the interconnectedness of technology, culture, and nature, moving beyond essentialist and dualistic tendencies. Inspired by (Haraway, 2007) and Braidotti (2019), I embraced a perspective of ‘staying with the trouble’ and ‘radical hope’ as a strategy to inspire commitments to safeguarding life on Earth amid increasing societal divisions, and environmental disasters. Working at the intersection of various disciplines, I crafted a qualitative research design that embraced multiple ways of knowing through creative practice research. I gathered insights from four ritual experts grounded in mātauranga Māori or neo-Paganism through in-depth interviews, to comprehend multifaceted and culturally sensitive approaches to ritual practices in Aotearoa. Moreover, the creative investigation of four seasonal performance rituals served as the primary mode of inquiry (Niedderer & Roworth-Stokes, 2007; Skains, 2018). The methods used for these rituals included contemporary performance practices, eco-somatic movement, improvisation, site-specific dance, audience participation, and others. The rich knowledge gained throughout these investigations is conveyed through the documentation of four seasonal rituals, presented in video works alongside this thesis. The findings are articulated in two empirical chapters, one focusing on the findings and analysis of the expert interviews and the other on the findings and analysis of four performance rituals, revealing nuanced and complex insights into the creation of site-specific performance rituals in the Anthropocene. Navigating site-specific performance practices as an immigrant necessitated continuous critical self-reflection on biases and assumptions, leading to intricate explorations of embodiment, identity, culture, nature, and the more-than-human world within a posthuman context. Operating in the liminal space of this tension alongside performer participants, ritual experts, and audience members yielded the articulation of my findings: a ritual score capable of accommodating the complexities of the Anthropocene.
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    A culturally responsive research move to enable Pacific voices to be heard: A research note
    (Journal Article, University of Canterbury, 2024) Edwards, Frances
    Researchers in the field of education have increasingly come to value the views and experiences of students, and hearing from the students themselves. This research note explores the challenges a researcher sought to gather student voice from Cook Islands tertiary students. The combination of research design and cultural mores meant Cook Islands participants faced barriers and could not comfortably talk about improvements they would like to see in tertiary assessment practice. On exploration, an adjustment to the research design was made that was culturally accepted and enabled participants to speak their minds openly. The findings are discussed, and recommendations are proposed that may assist future researchers working within cultural worlds in ways that allow the participants to speak openly, enabling their voices to be heard.

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