Say goodbye to stressful deadlines

If you feel stressed about a document you need to write, I can help.

After we talk about what you need to achieve, I will draw on my 28 years of local government experience to add value to your work. The outcome will be a clear, well-structured document for you to present to your council.


When we work together you will:

– have confidence that your document will be completed on time;

– have the time and space you need to think strategically about the issues to be addressed in your document and to identify genuinely useful solutions to them; and

– produce an easy-to-read document to support informed decision-making.

What you can expect:

√ Focused attention on your project

While you are juggling multiple commitments each day, I have the luxury of working on one project at a time in a quiet home office.

This makes it much easier for me to give focused attention to your document, and to deliver this to you in a timely way. 

√ Clarity

In the face of so much legislative reform and the huge challenges facing local government (including rising costs and climate change) it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

I specialise in cutting through complexity to create clear, structured information from which to make decisions.

√ Council-wide experience

Over the past 28 years I have worked on a huge range of council documents related to the following topics:
– the environment
– social wellbeing
– parks and libraries
– transport
– stormwater, wastewater and water supply.

And if I haven’t come across your topic or document type before, I’m always keen to learn!

Next steps:

1. We discuss your project

This is an opportunity for me to gain a good understanding of your topic and the document you need to create.

This initial discussion does not create any obligation to work with me, and any information you share with me will be treated as confidential.

2. Thinking

If we decide to proceed to the next step, I will ask you to provide me with any background information which will help me to develop a customised proposal for you.

For example, this may include an existing document which is due for review, or good examples from other councils.

3. Customised proposal

I will send you a customised proposal,
suggesting a step-by-step process for
us to work together.

This is likely to include a mix of:

– discussions with you to discuss questions arising during the project

– research (which may include interviews with subject matter experts)

– a draft outline (for early feedback on large, complex documents)

– writing and editing

– your review of draft documents to ensure you get exactly what you need

– further changes.

Examples of my work

Reporting on public feedback

A wide range of feedback was provided on a parking strategy and an active transport strategy. I summarised this information and wrote draft reports with recommendations for review by the council officers.

Client feedback:

“You are an absolute star and we really appreciate the order and efficiency you bring to our deliberations reports Debra .”


Margaret Parfitt | Business Unit Manager, Transport and Solid Waste

Nelson City Council


LIM improvement project

I wrote three reports to provide recommendations on:

– the content to include in LIMs

– how to enhance the online customer experience

– a staff structure to support the delivery of LIM services.

Client feedback:

“I want to acknowledge your superb analytical skills, ability to hone in on the issues and easy report writing style. A pleasure to read. The recommendations are spot on.”

Clare Barton | Group Manager Environmental Management, Nelson City Council


Environmental grants policy and process

Staff had been supporting individuals and community organisations to carry out planting and fencing projects for a number of years through provision of plants, advice, contracted services and assistance with fencing costs. Formalising this work with a policy on what grants would be available and setting up a process for assessing applications, providing support and keeping records, will contribute to the provision of efficient, fair and transparent support services.

Client feedback:

“Thanks for all your fantastic work on this Debra. It is much appreciated.”

Leigh Marshall | Team Leader Science and Environment (Biodiversity and Biosecurity)

Infrastructure Strategy

Many different people need to contribute to an infrastructure strategy which can lead to multiple different writing styles and levels of detail being included in a document. Setting up meetings with subject experts to ask the relevant questions and having one person responsible for writing the document was an efficient process for staff. It also enabled the council to express its approach to strategic challenges in a clear, consistent way.

Client feedback:

“Kudos from many councillors on how well written and structured the document was.”

Don Bartkowiak | Senior Asset Analyst, Nelson City Council

Reporting on a complex issue

A client had a complex issue to discuss with councillors, and we knew from the start that the report would need multiple revisions following its review by different people. My client provided me with the background information and I drafted a first version of the report. Since then we have passed the report between us, as more information has been added and subtracted from the report.

Client feedback:

“I have just made your corrections. I can’t tell you how incredibly grateful I am for your amazing attention to detail and understanding of the topic. Your suggestions make such good sense.”

Rosie Bartlett | Parks and Facilities Manager, Nelson City Council


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