Writing and editing services for New Zealand councils

My writing and editing services

I help council staff to complete high quality documents on time.


Writing services for councils

I combine my writing skills with more than 20 years of experience working in the local government sector to prepare documents that are both accurate and easy to understand.

My writing experience includes the following types of documents:

  • consultation documents
  • executive summaries
  • reports
  • strategies and plans
  • activity management plans
  • guides.

Find out more

Editing services for councils

I understand the audiences you’re writing for (including staff, councillors and external stakeholders) so when I edit your work I’ll be focused on meeting the needs of your readers.

My editing experience includes the following types of documents:

  • reports
  • asset and activity management plans
  • resource management documents
  • long term plans
  • annual plans and annual reports
  • state of the environment reports.

Find out more

Download My Free Guide

How to Create Successful Council Documents

“Debra is a highly proficient writer and policy analyst. Debra always delivers what she says she will in a professional manner and in a way that is engaging and easily understood.”
Matt Heale, Manager Environment, Nelson City Council
Institute of Professional Editors

Helping council staff to be successful

I have been providing writing and editing services for council staff since 2014. My clients are usually juggling multiple projects and have significant demands on their time, which makes it difficult for them to find extended, uninterrupted periods of time to write and edit complex documents. I work alongside my clients to understand the issues and options under consideration, and then return to my quiet home office to write documents on their behalf. My clear, concise writing style supports both decision-making and consultation processes.

I am an Associate Member of SOLGM which helps me to keep up to date with local government issues.



Specifically you bring to your team (and to Council) a remarkably positive can-do attitude that is backed up by clear strategic thinking and attention to detail.

Keith Marshall, Chief Executive, Nelson City Council

Your contribution was illustrated by the way you grappled with the dog control policy and bylaw. You remained committed to high quality community engagement through being professional, actively listening and seeking the best solution for our city. You have promoted and demonstrated personal leadership and positive attitudes.

Richard Johnson, Acting Chief Executive, Nelson City Council

I would like to thank Debra Bradley for initiating this series [of articles] and getting me motivated to contribute under her editorial tutelage. Her grasp of these matters is impressive and I would commend her services to councils throughout the country.

David McMahon, Independent Hearing Commissioner and resource management consultant, RMG

What I’m Writing About

How to write an interesting consultation document

How to write an interesting consultation document

One of the challenges of writing a concise, interesting resource management or Long Term Plan consultation document is that the starting point is a much larger, more detailed source of information. Councils need to transform the key elements of detailed analysis into...

How to write a submission on a council plan

How to write a submission on a council plan

Last week I edited a submission for a client (Ian McComb, of Small Time Developments Ltd) which includes some really good practices. That experience inspired the following checklist which you may find helpful if you are writing a submission on a council plan.  (This...

Five ways to avoid OOS when working at home

Five ways to avoid OOS when working at home

Thanks to Covid-19, this was a year where working at home became normal. As well as the global benefit of lower emissions from vehicles, we also enjoyed: less traffic on the roadwearing soft pants at workhanging out with the dogbeing trusted to deliver on timehaving...