Masters Dissertations

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The Masters Dissertations collection contains digital copies of AUT University masters dissertations deposited with the Library since 2007 and made available open access. From 2007 onwards, all dissertations for masters degrees awarded are required to be deposited in Tuwhera Open Theses & Dissertations unless subject to an embargo.

Dissertations submitted prior to 2007 are usually recorded in the AUT Library catalogue where the full text, if available, may be accessed with an AUT password. Other people should request an Interlibrary Loan through their library.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 1004
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    Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Enhance Productivity and Efficiency in the Manufacturing Sector
    Syse, Tristan
    Machine learning (ML) is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm adopted by manufacturing organisations to aid systems in learning and to improve based on past experiences without explicit programming. It is important to research the field of ML in manufacturing to uncover the range of benefits and how they affect manufacturing firms. This dissertation systematically reviews the existing literature concerning ML in the manufacturing sector. The methodology of this study searched for articles systematically using a specific search string across three databases, filtered the studies based on the inclusion and criteria, removed duplicate articles, removed articles with a title and abstract review, carried out a full-text analysis, and backward and forwards searched the articles. A total of 26 articles were narrowed down that qualified for data extraction. The results of this study indicate that ML offers a wide range of benefits in the field of manufacturing. The identified benefits of ML include faster processing of data, greater accuracy in tasks compared to human effort, the ability to solve complex problems, and greater control and flexibility in manufacturing practices. Challenges identified amongst ML in the manufacturing field included employee skill, data quality, and information security. The conclusion can be drawn that ML plays a significant role in the manufacturing sector across an extensive range of applications.
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    The Un-Explored Potential Role of Surfers in Reducing Drowning on New Zealand Beaches
    Mead, Jamie
    Drowning is the third leading cause of injury-related death globally. The financial and social burden of drowning on society has become so significant that, in 2021, the United Nations General Assembly, backed by over 80 countries worldwide, adopted a resolution on drowning prevention for the first time in the organisation’s 75-year history. Beaches and coastal environments are prominent locations for drowning, however research examining the causes and processes of drowning at beaches has been neglected, leading drowning to become an invisible disaster globally. A handful of studies conducted in Australia and Europe suggest surfers (as bystanders) might play a critical role in rescuing people from drowning and thus acknowledge surfers’ rescue capabilities. However, research about the role of surfers in rescuing people from drowning remains scarce and no data has been gathered in New Zealand, leaving a knowledge gap surrounding rescues being conducted by surfers. Water safety organisations seek to broaden prevention strategies, as New Zealand’s 10-year average coastal fatal drowning rate per capita is now 44% higher than Australia and rates of fatal coastal drowning continue to rise. This research aimed to provide original scientific data to quantify surfer rescues and identify the trends and characteristics associated with these. A quantitative, cross-sectional study was conducted, involving a questionnaire-based survey that was disseminated through the Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Surfing New Zealand social media networks. A total of 418 surfers took part in the survey. The survey provided data on rescuer and victim demographics, the respondent’s rescues over their lifetime and their most recent rescue on New Zealand beaches. The results indicate that an average of 48 lives are saved annually by this group of surfers, with a total of 1,274 rescues conducted. The potential impact surfers can make in reducing coastal drowning is evident by the volume of rescues performed by this group. The sample population was only 0.28% of the estimated 145,000 surfers in New Zealand. If only 1% of New Zealand’s surfers were currently conducting one lifesaving rescue per year, the prevention of the economic and social outcomes of drowning on New Zealand beaches would be immeasurable. Prominent male representation amongst rescuers was evident, however, no significant difference was witnessed between gender, regarding rescue frequency or confidence. There was no association found between having undergone rescue training and an increased frequency of rescues. Conversely, associations were found between increased years of surfing experience and frequency of rescue, as well as participating in formal rescue training. Rip currents clearly emerged as the leading hazard associated with rescue and were often coupled with poor swimming skills and lack of hazard awareness. Rescues were most frequently performed outside of patrolled areas and times and there were clear associations between where surfers conduct most of their rescues and their home break. Results from this study identified an experienced population of surfers that possess knowledge and ability, contrary to that of the statistical primary drowning victim or bystander rescuer. This study is pioneering work in New Zealand and calls for more attention towards the important role surfers play in coastal drowning prevention. Their role has long been unrecognized and/or invisible. This research begins to fill an important gap as it highlights surfer’s role in drowning prevention, by providing a quantification of the rescues they performed on New Zealand beaches. This work has strong implications for disaster risk reduction policies and practice, including developing drowning prevention and water safety strategies that cater for surfers' skills, knowledge and resources. It calls for a shift of approach in drowning prevention toward building upon local capacities, where historically drowning prevention focused exclusively on lifeguards in patrol areas.
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    Sexual and Reproductive Health of Internally Displaced Women and Children in Melanesia- A Review
    (Auckland University of Technology, ) Kepon, Ainda
    Background: Around the world, human beings have been displaced and have suffered the consequences of destruction caused by natural hazards and war conflicts. In Melanesian countries such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG), displacement is triggered by tribal conflict and natural hazards such as storms, floods, earthquakes, landslides, droughts, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions: the incidence of which has been increasing. Such hazardous events and tribal conflicts destroy land, homes, farms, food, and the provision of essential services, such as health and education, causing complications to the lives and livelihoods of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Internally displaced persons are victims of natural and human-made disaster displacement and often remain in their own countries. Globally, scholars have developed innovative strategies to build resilience for pre- and post-disaster recovery and have achieved positive outcomes. However, the risks associated with women and children who have been displaced continue to increase. Their Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) is often at risk whilst they are evacuated to temporary settlements. Given this, there is a lack of research or understanding into how their SRH could be improved. Since natural hazards and conflicts frequently occur in Melanesian countries, it is crucial to address the SRH of internally displaced women and children pre-and post-disaster to ascertain the appropriate policies and services needed to address their needs. Aim: This research was conducted to identify the sexual and reproductive health experiences of internally displaced Melanesian women and children in the Pacific region and to identify policy and service provision gaps that could be addressed. The study's outcome is anticipated to assist policymakers and service providers in Melanesian countries in addressing the sexual and reproductive health of internally displaced women and children. Method: The research comprised (1) a narrative review of the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) experiences of internally displaced Melanesian women and children and (2) a policy review of the existing policies addressing the sexual reproductive health of internally displaced women and children in four Melanesian countries, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands. These policies and strategies were analysed using the United Nations internally displaced guiding principles goals. Results: The Policy review found that: (1) Fiji, PNG, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands' national health policies and strategic plans have not addressed the sexual and reproductive health rights of internally displaced women and children. (2) Only Fiji has incorporated UN Guiding Principles for addressing SRH amongst IDPs in its national disaster risk reduction policy and disaster management plan. The narrative review identified three key domains where themes emerged detailing SRH experiences amongst IDPs. These were (1) sexual gender-based violence, (2) the influence of cultural factors on sexual and reproductive health experiences, and (3) a lack of adequate, affordable, quality health services, staff, and resource equipment. Sexual and reproductive health themes included sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, unwanted pregnancy, and chronic sexually transmitted diseases. These were raised as significant issues affecting IDP women and children. Conclusion: Natural hazards and tribal conflict displacement have significantly affected the sexual and reproductive health of internally displaced Melanesian women and children. The facilitators and barriers to sexual and reproductive health experiences associated with natural hazards and conflicts are numerous. Most importantly, the UN guiding principles that protect the SRH of IDPs were lacking in most of the Melanesian countries' policies and strategic plans. Thus, policymakers and service providers need to come together to examine their role in mitigating the impact of natural hazards and tribal conflict displacement and improve the sexual and reproductive health needs of internally displaced Melanesian women and children.
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    Fear of Crime: Gender Differences in New Zealand
    (Auckland University of Technology, ) Oxley, Samantha
    This thesis centres around the investigation of gender differences in fear of crime. International studies have identified that the fear of crime presents a substantially greater problem for women when compared to men. No New Zealand empirical studies have focused their investigation on gender differences in fear of crime. This thesis targets this research gap, using descriptive statistics, ordinary least squares (OLS) and ordered probit modelling, and Blinder-Oaxaca modelling to analyse gender differences in fear of crime. Descriptive statistics and statistical tests are initially utilised to identify trends in fear of crime and relevant covariates. Subsequently, OLS and ordered probit models are estimated for males and females for 2014 and 2018. This allows for the analysis to focus on gender differences and intertemporal differences. Furthermore, Blinder-Oaxaca modelling is utilised to determine whether characteristics or coefficient effects drive the gender gap in fear of crime. Results will further our understanding of whether the fear of crime gap is driven by the dispersion of covariates between males and females or the efficiency at which males and females can convert changes of characteristics into reductions in fear of crime. OLS results show that variables which are positively correlated with fear of crime include: migrant status, education, general trust, health, discriminatory sentiment, having a dependent child, material well-being, feelings of loneliness, and feelings of anxiety. In contrast, variables negatively correlated with fear of crime include: neighbourhood incivilities and being married. Positive results indicate that an increase in the independent variable will ultimately result in ‘better’ fear of crime scores. Results from the Blinder-Oaxaca model indicate that the fear of crime gap that exists between males and females is primarily due to the coefficient effect.
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    Aquatic Meed 2066 Cross Disciplinary Exploration
    Marage, Thanushi
    This project explores the combination of fashion and film media design tools and practices through multidisciplinary collaboration engagements between myself, a fashion designer, and professionals associated with the film industry. The research uses an exploratory approach to seek and create new ways to extend my design practice and range of creative outcomes. My research question was, "How can innovative pre-production tools from the film industry be adapted to inspire and allow my creative practice to evolve? The work includes the creation of 3 bag prototypes, developed for an envisaged future setting and inspired by the science fiction film genre and specifically a created dystopian world influenced by climate change and advancing technology. I utilized non-traditional design methodologies such as adaptive thinking and scenario thinking to explore how global developments and imagined futures can influence my design aesthetic by embracing and designing for future concepts and technologies. I undertook collaborative engagements with multidisciplinary creatives from the film industry, resulting in a new dimension and novel complexity to my design practice that I had not achieved before. Using practices native to the film industry enabled me to gain a sense of self-discovery beyond that of a traditional fashion designer. The research output showcases how extending to other design disciplines can lead to innovative solutions and new aesthetics in a unique manner.
Dissertations are protected by the Copyright Act 1994 (New Zealand). The dissertation may be consulted by you, provided you comply with the provisions of the Act and the following conditions of use:
  • Any use you make of these documents or images must be for research or private study purposes only, and you may not make them available to any other person.
  • Authors control the copyright of their dissertation. You will recognise the author’s right to be identified as the author of the dissertation, and due acknowledgement will be made to the author where appropriate.
  • You will obtain the author’s permission before publishing any material from the dissertation.