Writing and editing services for New Zealand councils

My writing and editing services

I work with council staff who have expertise in infrastructure, parks and environmental management.

My clients have a lot of responsibilities and don’t have time to complete all the reports, plans and strategies on their to-do list. My research, writing and editing services help them to progress their projects by delivering high quality documents on time, to support decision making and consultation processes.


Professional writing services for councils

A natural inclination towards systems thinking, a quiet home office, and more than 20 years of experience working in the local government sector means I can help you to complete the following types of documents:

  • reports
  • business cases
  • infrastructure strategies
  • strategic policies and processes
  • action plans
  • consultation documents
  • guides.

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Professional editing services for councils

I understand the local government context and the audience you’re writing for, so when I edit your work I’ll be asking questions, identifying gaps and suggesting additional content. I will keep your audience in mind at all times, to ensure your documents are fit for purpose.

My editing experience includes the following types of documents:

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

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Writing and editing climate change documents

Climate change is relevant to almost all aspects of local government work. I have a strong interest in both climate change mitigation and adaptation, so I value the opportunity to work on strategies, plans and consultation documents on these topics.

My experience with climate change documents includes:

  • developing a climate action plan
  • discussing climate change issues and strategies responses in infrastructure strategies and reports
  • considering climate change issues related to freshwater and natural hazards planning.

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“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

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How to Create Successful Council Documents

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.


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

Eight ways to get started on your 2021 infrastructure strategy

Eight ways to get started on your 2021 infrastructure strategy

It's time for councils to pick up their 2018 infrastructure strategies and decide how to go about updating and improving them. Key steps in the process are: scopinginterviews with staff to identify what has changed since the 2018 strategy was draftedputting it all...

How to meet your deadlines during the Christmas countdown

How to meet your deadlines during the Christmas countdown

There’s no such thing as a free dog. There's also no such thing as a free Christmas holiday — the price of entry is taking part in the extreme sport of getting everything done by Christmas. But back to the 'free' dog. When we were given Max I didn’t know he would need...

Writing an asset management plan?

Writing an asset management plan?

Asset managers around New Zealand are beginning the process of reviewing and updating their asset management plans to support the 2021 Long Term Plan process. Here’s some great advice I picked up on asset management plan writing during a training day with Ross Waugh,...

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