Writing and editing services for New Zealand councils

My writing and editing services

I work with council staff who are experts in infrastructure, environmental management, or community services.

When they don’t have time to complete all the reports, plans and strategies on their to-do list, my research, writing and editing services enable them to deliver high quality documents on time, to support consultation processes and decision making.


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
  • strategies, policies and processes
  • action plans
  • consultation documents
  • guides.

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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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“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

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

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...

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How to Create Successful Council Documents