Providing writing and editing services for councils
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.
My Associate Membership of SOLGM helps me to keep up to date with local government issues.
I trained as a journalist and worked at the Hamilton Press where I reported on environmental, education and arts topics, and gained experience as a sub-editor. I also enjoyed writing the articles for the Waikato Times’ Fieldays supplement over two successive years.
I then began working in the local government sector. Highlights of my time as a a planning assistant were:
– coordination of the consultation process for the Nelson Resource Management Plan (including summarising submissions and further submissions, providing administration support for the hearing process and subsequent decision-making process
– editing of state of the environment reporting
– involvement in zero waste policies and projects.
After completing additional study, I became a policy planner and was responsible for completion of a freshwater plan change which introduced a broad range of provisions related to activities in the beds of rivers, water quality and water quantity. My work on this project included development of a consultation draft and the First Schedule process, through to resolution of all appeals.
I also gained experience in a range of non-regulatory programmes including the development a climate action plan. When I began a new role as a planning adviser I started doing the type of work which I discovered I loved, and have continued to do as a freelancer since 2014 — using my writing and editing skills to support staff throughout a council on a multitude of projects including strategies, plans and reports.
My undergraduate degree was a double major in English Literature and Biology (ecology and animal physiology). In my second year at the University of Waikato I vividly remember having to run from a Romantic Poetry and Prose lecture on one side of the campus over to the science lab to get underway with dissecting and drawing the innards of a rat (which are amazingly similar to humans).
While this is an odd mix of disciplines within a degree, both continue to inform my work. I particularly enjoyed understanding the workings of ecosystems, and my Honours degree in English Literature set me up for a lifetime of reading and appreciation of language.
I further developed my writing skills in 2008 when I completed a post-graduate diploma in creative writing at Whitireia Polytechnic.
My editing skills received a thorough polishing in 2011 when I completed the Proofreading and Editing course provided by the New Zealand Institute of Business Studies.
In 2020 I completed Writing Articles for Websites and Blogs through the NZ Writers College.
I also write articles on other topics (including books, blogging and freelancing) on my personal website at debrabradley.co.nz
I am also a big fan of lifelong learning.
My qualifications include:
- BA (Hons) in English Literature (Waikato University)
- Diploma in Journalism (Auckland Institute of Technology)
- Diploma in Environmental Studies (Open Polytechnic of New Zealand).
- Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing (Whitireia New Zealand).