Auckland Council
  • Auckland, New Zealand
Recent publications
The estimation of the Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) relation is often necessary for the planning and design of various hydraulic structures and design storms. It has been an increasingly greater challenge due to climate change conditions. This paper therefore proposes an integrated extreme rainfall modeling software package (SDExtreme) for constructing the IDF relations at a local site in the context of climate change. The proposed tool is based on a temporal downscaling method to describe the relationships between daily and sub-daily extreme precipitation using the scale-invariance General Extreme Value (GEV) distribution. In addition, SDExtreme provides a modified bootstrap technique to determine confidence intervals (CIs) of the estimated IDF curves for current and the future climate conditions. The feasibility and accuracy of SDExtreme were assessed using rainfall data available from the selected rain gauge stations in Quebec and Ontario provinces (Canada) and climate simulations under three different climate change scenarios provided by the Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2) and the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CanRCM4).
The Library and Information Science (LIS) community has started discussing some possible uses of Blockchain (BC) technologies in solving library-related problems and increasing the overall efficiency of libraries. This study aimed to systematically collect and review the relevant literature to comprehend the scope of BC for libraries, its benefits, as well as the challenges, and implications related to its use. The authors explored six reputed databases (Web of Science, Scopus, LISTA (Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts), LISA (Library and Information Science Abstracts), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and Google Scholar) to conduct this review. This study was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. After the final data extraction, 21 documents were considered eligible for the systematic review. A systematic review of the selected works indicated that the usage of BC in libraries ranged from record-keeping to processing payments and ensuring security and transparency. Some of the opportunities that can be hunted from BC were the elimination of corruption, enhanced security, improved efficiency of services, and better time management. Literature also indicated that a lack of awareness of technology, unskilled staff, and financial constraints could impede the adoption of BC by libraries. It is hoped that this study would provide a holistic overview of BC technologies for libraries, thus improving the effectiveness of the decision-makers. This study is first that collected (systematically) and reviewed the literature on BC usage in libraries. The review will help educational institutions and library professionals understand the usage, challenges, and benefits of BC for libraries.
One quarter of all terrestrial native bird species have become extinct since human arrival in New Zealand, leading to a pervasive silence in many natural environments due to the decrease in native bird song. Passive acoustic techniques are a potential tool for environmental monitoring, especially for testing whether the control of mammals can reverse the ‘silent forest’ effect. Here we compare soundscapes from two nearby sites within the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, New Zealand, that have contrasting predator control levels: one with high-level pest mammal control, and the other with low-level pest control. Measurements of twelve acoustic indices extracted from two seasons of passive acoustic recordings are split into 20 acoustic regions to identify which regions best discriminate between the two management regimes. We define the acoustic regions as units of analysis bounded by a specific time period and frequency range chosen to capture the main groups of biologically relevant acoustic events within a soundscape. Analysis of variance and pairwise comparisons indicated the acoustic region bounded from 9 pm to 11:59 pm and a range of 0.988–3.609 kHz in autumn presented the greatest differences between sites. The sounds responsible for these acoustic differences were generated by invasive mammals in the site with no pest control. Results also supports spring season as the most important for bird monitoring in New Zealand. Acoustic indices analysis did not detect a reversal of the “silence forest” effect in the site with high-level predator control.
en A count of 6235 Chondrichthyes vertebrae was recovered from the 17th to 18th century AD NRD site (R11/859) on the Manukau Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand. These have been identified by aDNA analysis as mostly rig (Mustelus lenticulatus). To provide context for this unusual assemblage we briefly review the archaeological record of Chondrichthyes fishing in Oceania and New Zealand, and more extensively review the 19th and early 20th century ethnography of Māori shark fishing in New Zealand along with the archaeological record. Chondrichthyes were of economic, social and spiritual importance to pre-European Māori. A variety of species were caught by a variety of techniques, including mass harvest, and could be dried for storage. Our initial reading of the ethnographic record led us to expect that the assemblage would be dominated by school shark (Galeorhinus galeus), but a closer analysis of the record showed that Māori sharking practice was diverse. The NRD assemblage encapsulates this variation. RÉSUMÉ es Un nombre de 6235 vertèbres de Chondrichthyes a été collecté sur le site NRD (R11/859) dans l'estuaire de Manukau datant du 17ème-18ème siècle, Auckland, Nouvelle-Zélande. L'analyse de ces vertèbres par ADNa permis d'identifier ces échantillons comme étant principalement des rig (Mustelus lenticulatus). Afin de fournir un contexte pour cet assemblage inhabituel, nous passons brièvement en revue les archives archéologiques de la pêche aux Chondrichtyens en Océanie et en Nouvelle-Zélande, et nous examinons plus en détail l'ethnographie du 19ème et du début du 20ème siècle de la pêche au requin par les Māori en Nouvelle-Zélande ainsi que les archives archéologiques. Les Chondrichtyens avaient une importance économique, sociale et spirituelle pour les Māori pré-européens. Une variété d'espèces étaient capturées par diverses techniques, y compris la récolte intensive, et pouvaient être séchées pour être stockées. Notre lecture initiale du dossier ethnographique nous a amené à penser que l'assemblage serait dominé par le requin école (Galeorhinus galeus), mais une analyse plus approfondie du dossier a montré que la pratique du requin par les Māori était diverse. L'assemblage de la NRD reflète cette variation.
Anthropogenic factors have been identified as major stressors of nearshore environments such as estuaries, sea grass meadows and mangroves. We hypothesize that aquatic organisms functionally dependent on these habitats as nurseries respond to disturbances with subtle changes in their habitat-use patterns. We used a novel approach coupling behavioural change point analysis with fish otolith microchemistry to analyse continuous life history information independent of climate and physiological variability. Here we show that pre-industrial (1430-1640 CE) land use and fishing practices had little influence on the well synchronized migration behaviour of juvenile snapper Chrysophrys auratus in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. In contrast, modern human disturbances have resulted in snapper spending less time in brackish nurseries and moving chaotically between habitats. Today, nearshore habitats have largely lost their nursery function for the species. Temporal comparison of habitat-use patterns is a powerful tool to evaluate past and present nursery habitat quality.
behavior with health campaigns. We examine Guayaquil, Ecuador which was hit particularly hard in the first few months of the pandemic. As lockdowns and social distancing led families to rely on others to secure food or medical assistance, perceptions on trust and the dynamics of social capital during the initial (and worst) months of the pandemic were particularly important. Methods: This paper uses a unique dataset of people receiving a COVID test after suspicion of infection. People in our dataset were active during the height of the pandemic and faced the possibility of needing to rely on others in the case of testing positive. We use regression analysis to study the relation between compliance with mobility restrictions and institutional and relational trust. Results: We find that trusting that close relations (such as family) will be there for you in the case of falling ill is associated with a significant increase in the probability of complying with health campaigns. Additionally, we find that trust in the government has a weak relationship to compliance. However, compliance decreases when examining increased trust in the police but increases with trust in the military. Conclusions: The findings show that enhancing trust may improve compliance with social distancing measures. However, increasing trust in specific groups could have negative consequences. Importantly, compliance could be increased by emphasizing in campaigns that your behavior could influence the health of those who you care about.
In the fight against the COVID‐19 pandemic, New Zealand stood out with its ambitious elimination goal and the small death count per capita. The country’s strategy included full lockdown measures that were strict by international standards. In this paper we investigate whether New Zealand’s strict lockdowns brought significant changes to the dwelling price capitalisation of environmental amenities. Our results show a nuanced landscape. While before the pandemic, Auckland homebuyers were willing to pay a premium for dwellings located adjacent to open spaces, such premium either vanished or became a penalty during the lockdown phases. There was also a significant premium for dwellings within 300 m of beaches. But again such premium either decreases or becomes a penalty across the lockdown phases. In addition, we find a preference for dwellings located further away from Auckland CBD. Hence, some amenities that used to have a positive (or neutral) impact on the price of a property have now become disamenities from homebuyers’ perspective after the experience of the pandemic. This paper informs planners, policy‐makers and private actors with a better understanding of the behaviour of Auckland’s housing market under the disruptions due to the pandemic and lockdowns.
Introduction Neighbourhood environments can have significant and enduring impacts on children’s physical, psychological and social health. Environments can impact health through promoting or hindering physical activity, active travel, and healthy eating in addition to opportunities for social interaction, cognitive development, rest and relaxation. There is a paucity of research that has examined neighbourhood and health priorities, strengths and needs from the perspectives of the community, and even less that has focused on the perspectives of children within communities. The aim of this article is to describe the research protocol for a project to gather child-identified needs and strengths-based solutions for promoting child health and well-being in urban neighbourhood environments. Methods and analysis This participatory research project is designed to partner with children in school settings in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Ōtepoti Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand. An abundant communities approach will be used with children to identify needs and strengths related to neighbourhoods and health. Specific methods including collaborative, creative, play-based methods such as concept-mapping activities and co-creation of final dissemination material on the key messages are described. Plans for researcher reflections, data analysis and dissemination are also detailed. Ethics and dissemination This research has been approved by the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee. Results will be disseminated through child and researcher co-created output, a technical report and academic journal articles. By using evidence-based child-centred approaches to knowledge generation, we anticipate the research will generate new localised insights about children’s preferences and needs for healthy neighbourhoods which will be shared with stakeholders in planning and practice. The detailed session protocol including critical researcher reflections is shared in this manuscript for application, development and refinement in future research.
The estimation of the Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) relations is often necessary for the planning and design of various hydraulic structures and design storms. It has been an increasingly greater challenge due to climate change condition. This paper therefore proposes an integrated extreme rainfall modeling software package (SDExtreme) for constructing the IDF relations at a local site in the context of climate change. The proposed tool is based on a temporal downscaling method to describe the relationships between daily and sub-daily extreme precipitation using the scale-invariance General Extreme Value (GEV) distribution. In addition, SDExtreme provides a modified bootstrap technique to determine confidence intervals (CIs) of the estimated IDF curves for the current and the future climate conditions. The feasibility and accuracy of SDExtreme were assessed using rainfall data available from the selected rain gauge stations in Quebec and Ontario provinces (Canada) and climate simulations under three different climate change scenarios provided by the Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2) and the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CanRCM4).
Heritage places are one of many urban features that shape the form and identity of a city. Local government regulations protect and conserve heritage but in so doing also generate restrictions or opportunity costs for homebuyers and developers. In this paper, we take Auckland, New Zealand, as case study and estimate price effects of two different forms of local government heritage protection: scheduled heritage places and Special Character Areas. We find a statistically significant price penalty of around -9.6% for houses protected for heritage values, between years 2006-2016. Yet, we also identify an external and local price premium, related to the number of heritage places around a house. This local density effect is approximately 1.7% for an additional heritage place in a radius of 50 meters around the house, and decreases as the radius under analysis expands. We also find a price premium for a house located in Special Character Areas, for which the effect is positive and reaches 4.3%. Reported effects are robust to several specifications but are highly dependent on time dynamics.
Library and Information Science professionals in Pakistan are taking the benefit of emailing groups to seek help from other professionals, share information, and enhance their services. This study aims to present an analysis of all messages posted to plagpk, a pioneer Library and Information Science emailing group in Pakistan. In this study, content analysis of messages posted to the Yahoo mailing group “plagpk” was made from the launching of the group till 14 December 2019. The findings ranked the category of resource sharing at the top position. The study also found that only a small number of group members posted emails to the group, and male group members dominated the female members in terms of sending emails. Library and Information Science professionals in Pakistan are widely using emailing groups to discuss and share professional issues. There is a scarcity of studies related to the use of mailing groups in Pakistan. This study will be helpful for professionals planning to use emailing groups for professional networking.
Introduction Anorectal melanoma (ARM) is a rare disease with a poor prognosis. There is no consensus as to the optimal primary surgical treatment for ARM, with advocates for both radical (abdominoperineal resection [APR]) and conservative strategies (wide local excision [WLE]). Here, we report a systematic review of studies comparing outcomes between these strategies. Methods Studies comparing APR with WLE in patients with ARM were included, and a systematic review using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation methodology was performed. Outcomes deemed critical included overall survival, disease-free survival, local recurrence and quality of life. Results Forty studies were identified, of which 27 were suitable for inclusion. Twenty-three studies compared overall survival between WLE and APR, with no difference in outcomes noted (risk ratio [RR]: 0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.60–1.07, p = 0.13). Seven studies compared disease-free survival, with no difference in outcomes noted (RR: 1.08, 95% CI: 0.61–1.91, p = 0.79). A total of 19 studies compared local recurrence rates, with again no significant difference in outcomes noted (RR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.44–1.14, p = 0.16). None of the studies identified reported quality of life–related outcomes. Conclusion There is no evidence to suggest that a radical primary surgical strategy improves outcomes in ARM. Therefore, given the well-documented morbidity associated with APR, WLE with regular surveillance for local recurrence should be the primary strategy in most patients.
This paper explores potential land-sector policies and practices that could help meet New Zealand's 2030 Paris Agreement target of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from 2005 levels while simultaneous achieving improvements in freshwater quality. We use an integrated model of the country's agricultural and forestry sectors to explore the economic and environmental outcomes for 21 freshwater and climate change policy alternatives and mitigation target scenarios. The agri-environmental model estimates are then included in a multidimensional decision space framework that incorporates the risk attitude of policy-makers and uses an ordered weighting average model to evaluate potential policy pathways. We find policies that feature afforestation of marginal land are often preferred over because they provide a range of co-benefits such as carbon sequestration and reduced sedimentation and nutrient loss at relatively low cost. On the contrary, policies that only target a specific practice or pollutant are often less preferred because they fail to provide ample spill overs relative to their cost savings.
Cat ownership is increasing globally, representing a growing threat to urban wildlife. Although some cities have policies and strategies for managing owned cats, the companionship value placed on cats makes such management contentious. Prioritizing cat management in urban residential zones adjacent to large significant ecological areas (SEAs; areas designated on the basis of representativeness, threat status or rarity, diversity, connectedness, or uniqueness) could maximize return on management effort. Residents in these areas may place a relatively higher value on nature than residents in suburbs with minimal or no SEAs, and therefore may be comparatively more likely to perceive cats’ wildlife impacts as important. We used a quantitative survey to compare SEA and non-SEA suburbs’ residents’ attitudes towards cat impacts and management in Tāmaki Makaurau-Auckland, Aotearoa-New Zealand. Participants were asked to rate the importance of different feral and owned cat impacts, the importance of feral-cat control in different locations, and various ownership behaviors in terms of acceptability and best practice. SEA suburb residents placed more importance on wildlife predation impacts of feral cats and were more likely to regard 24-h cat confinement as best practice than non-SEA suburb residents. However, we also found that cat ownership and youth were negatively associated with perception of cat impacts, and owners were less likely to accept belled collars and cat confinement than nonowners. Therefore, although targeting SEA adjacent areas for cat management holds promise for reducing resident contention, proximity to such areas is a relatively minor influence for cat owners.
Landscape plays a crucial role in modern life for urban dwellers although the majority of their time is spent indoors. In this context, window view is the dominant way of connecting urban dwellers to landscapes. The visual quality of urban environments can have a great influence on the quality of life. But how can visual quality be assessed? This paper presents a novel method Active Perception Technique to measure visual preference for urban scenes. Windowscape is used as a convenient tool using graphic responses to draw from memory what landscape people recall seeing. Active Perception Technique is designed to both identify the most and least visually preferred features of urban windowscapes and to predict preference for windowscapes. Results show that natural features of urban windowscapes were preferred over built ones. However, some natural features contributed more strongly to overall preference than others. Preferences for some features were found to differ across home and workplace windowscapes. Personal association with features was also found to impact on visual preferences. Results obtained can be useful for policy makers, and planners to enhance the visual quality of built environments. Active Perception Technique may also have other uses; including examining the perceived significance of cultural features in everyday urban landscapes.
Background and purpose: "Take Charge" is a novel, community-based self-directed rehabilitation intervention which helps a person with stroke take charge of their own recovery. In a previous randomized controlled trial, a single Take Charge session improved independence and health-related quality of life 12 months following stroke in Māori and Pacific New Zealanders. We tested the same intervention in three doses (zero, one, or two sessions) in a larger study and in a broader non-Māori and non-Pacific population with stroke. We aimed to confirm whether the Take Charge intervention improved quality of life at 12 months after stroke in a different population and whether two sessions were more effective than one. Methods: We randomized 400 people within 16 weeks of acute stroke who had been discharged to institution-free community living at seven centers in New Zealand to a single Take Charge session (TC1, n = 132), two Take Charge sessions six weeks apart (TC2, n = 138), or a control intervention (n = 130). Take Charge is a "talking therapy" that encourages a sense of purpose, autonomy, mastery, and connectedness with others. The primary outcome was the Physical Component Summary score of the Short Form 36 at 12 months following stroke comparing any Take Charge intervention to control. Results: Of the 400 people randomized (mean age 72.2 years, 58.5% male), 10 died and two withdrew from the study. The remaining 388 (97%) people were followed up at 12 months after stroke. Twelve months following stroke, participants in either of the TC groups (i.e. TC1 + TC2) scored 2.9 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.95 to 4.9, p = 0.004) points higher (better) than control on the Short Form 36 Physical Component Summary. This difference remained significant when adjusted for pre-specified baseline variables. There was a dose effect with Short Form 36 Physical Component Summary scores increasing by 1.9 points (95% CI 0.8 to 3.1, p < 0.001) for each extra Take Charge session received. Exposure to the Take Charge intervention was associated with reduced odds of being dependent (modified Rankin Scale 3 to 5) at 12 months (TC1 + TC2 12% versus control 19.5%, odds ratio 0.55, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.99, p = 0.045). Conclusions: Confirming the previous randomized controlled trial outcome, Take Charge-a low-cost, person-centered, self-directed rehabilitation intervention after stroke-improved health-related quality of life and independence. Clinical trial registration-url: http://www.anzctr.org.au . Unique identifier: ACTRN12615001163594.
Seabird foraging behaviour can reflect prey abundance at sea, and is influenced by stress hormone levels, thus providing a potential indicator of at-sea conditions. Using common diving petrels (Pelecanoides urinatrix, hereafter CDPs), a procellariform that preferentially forages on crustacean zooplankton, we sought to understand how spatially separate colonies responded behaviourally and physiologically to contrasting prey levels with a view to recruiting this species as an environmental indicator. In 2016, incubating CDPs from Tiritiri Matangi (− 36.59S; 174.88E, low levels of preferred prey) and Burgess (− 35.91S; 174.12E, high levels of preferred prey) Islands within the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, were tracked using GPS devices. We hypothesised that Tiritiri birds would exhibit greater foraging effort and higher stress hormone levels across the breeding season due to lower levels of available prey. Hidden Markov methods were used to model foraging effort, and prey trophic level (stable isotopes: δ13C and δ15N) and stress hormone levels (CORT) quantified in plasma samples. During incubation birds were spatially segregated when foraging. Tiritiri birds exerted more effort, chasing higher trophic level prey at larger distances from the colony, and had higher body weight and lower CORT than Burgess birds. However, bird CORT levels responded more to reproductive duties (peaking during chick rearing) as opposed to colony location, i.e. CORT was not consistently higher in Tiritiri birds. Although a snapshot, our findings illustrate the promise of integrating multiple parameters when recruiting seabirds as ocean indicators, resulting in improved resolution of future monitoring programmes based upon them.
New Zealand has a vibrant research culture, with cancer research that spans the cancer continuum. Our research agenda has both a strong focus on answering questions of international importance, and on addressing research questions of specific national relevance. In this manuscript, we discuss the mechanisms by which cancer research is funded in New Zealand. We outline some of the major challenges currently facing implementation of our cancer research agenda; including levels of research funding, addressing inequalities in cancer outcomes, and current challenges in New Zealand-led clinical trials. We then describe some of the key strengths of New Zealand cancer research, with particular focus on national-level health and social services datasets. Finally, we briefly discuss our new national Health Research Strategy and consider the ramifications of this strategy for the future of cancer research in New Zealand.
Managing the cumulative effects (CE) that arise from human and natural stressors is one of the most urgent and complex problems facing coastal and marine decision makers today. In the absence of effective processes, models, and political will, decision-makers struggle to implement management strategies that effectively tackle cumulative effects. Emerging efforts to address cumulative effects provide a timely opportunity to assess the efficacy of a range of management strategies operating at different scales and in different legislative and cultural contexts. Using primarily qualitative methodologies including literature reviews, focus groups, and workshops, this paper compares cumulative effects approaches within the Reef 2050 Plan for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), Australia, with those in Aotearoa New Zealand (Aotearoa NZ). Both case studies illustrate that cumulative effects management is especially complicated by: fragmented legislative regimes and institutions that cannot account for cross-scale or cross-sector interactions; chronic data scarcity and high levels of uncertainty that make system-based assessments and predictions challenging; and often conflicting societal and economic expectations, values, and rights that are poorly integrated into management decision-making. By considering how these two cases align with transformational change characteristics, we draw several conclusions and establish priority actions regarding (1) how to mobilise resources and political will to address CE, (2) how to deal with data scarcity and uncertainty, and (3) how to promote comprehensive and inclusive CE management of coastal and marine areas.
Background: The Health Research Council of New Zealand is the first major government funding agency to use a lottery to allocate research funding for their Explorer Grant scheme. This is a somewhat controversial approach because, despite the documented problems of peer review, many researchers believe that funding should be allocated solely using peer review, and peer review is used almost ubiquitously by funding agencies around the world. Given the rarity of alternative funding schemes, there is interest in hearing from the first cohort of researchers to ever experience a lottery. Additionally, the Health Research Council of New Zealand wanted to hear from applicants about the acceptability of the randomisation process and anonymity of applicants. Methods: This paper presents the results of a survey of Health Research Council applicants from 2013 to 2019. The survey asked about the acceptability of using a lottery and if the lottery meant researchers took a different approach to their application. Results: The overall response rate was 39% (126 of 325 invites), with 30% (76 of 251) from applicants in the years 2013 to 2018, and 68% (50 of 74) for those in the year 2019 who were not aware of the funding result. There was agreement that randomisation is an acceptable method for allocating Explorer Grant funds with 63% (n = 79) in favour and 25% (n = 32) against. There was less support for allocating funds randomly for other grant types with only 40% (n = 50) in favour and 37% (n = 46) against. Support for a lottery was higher amongst those that had won funding. Multiple respondents stated that they supported a lottery when ineligible applications had been excluded and outstanding applications funded, so that the remaining applications were truly equal. Most applicants reported that the lottery did not change the time they spent preparing their application. Conclusions: The Health Research Council's experience through the Explorer Grant scheme supports further uptake of a modified lottery.
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Gaia Dell'Ariccia
  • Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU)
Todd J. Landers
  • Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU)
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