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Watching The Buggers (Part 8 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 8 Of 12)

by Tim Barcode

A play about the 2004 investigation into allegations of bugging the Maori Party.

This play is being serialised in 12 parts on Scoop. See CLICK HERE for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

Anyone wanting to perform it simply has to ask the writers permission and donate a tenth of the profits of any performances to the Ahmed Zaoui Support Fund

Westpac Queen Street, Auckland,
Account Number: 03 0296 0076601 00
Account Name: Zaoui Support Fund.


  • Coates - a spy? - 30s

  • Paul –waiter? - 60s

  • Forbes – a spy? – 40s

  • Jane – a public servant employed by the Department of Conservation? 30ish.

  • Madonna – front counter worker at Gibson’s Drycleaners in Levin! – 19?

  • Paul – an Inspector General and retired High Court Judge? – 60s
  • The story so far…
    Gordon Coates, the SIS officer who apparently authorises interception warrants has been summoned by the Inspector-General of the SIS to answer questions on the bugging of leaders of the Maori Party. The first rendezvous at the Huka Lodge was disturbed by the arrival of George Forbes apparently sent by the Director of the SIS to intercept Coates. Coates did meet a very proper waiter, Paul.
    The second rendezvous, at a train shelter in Masterton involved a DoC worker called Jane who took a strong liking to Coates.
    Coates has just arrived at third meeting place, a drycleaners in Levin, to discover that Paul the waiter from the Huka Lodge is waiting to meet him.


    Paul: . . . . It’s all right – I know him. I’m Paul, the owner.

    Coates: . . . . I’m Coates.

    Paul: . . . . Yes I know – Gordon Coates.

    Coates: . . . . Is this a trap?

    Madonna: . . . . ( sarcastic) No – it’s, like, a drycleaners.

    Paul: . . . . No.

    Madonna: . . . . I’ll call the cops.

    Paul: . . . . It’s all right Madonna.

    Coates: . . . . I thought I was here to talk to the Inspector…

    Madonna: . . . . The cops can be here in two minutes Mr Neazor.

    Paul: . . . . No. It’s all right.

    Coates: . . . . You’re Justice Neazor.

    Madonna: . . . . Naah – he’s Paul Neazor dickhead.

    Paul: . . . . That’s right Madonna. Come this way Coates. I have an office back here.
    Paul and Coates move toward the back of the shop. Madonna busies herself in the shop.
    . . . . I’m sorry this has been so hard, I would have talked to you yesterday at the Huka Lodge, but you were being followed.

    Coates: . . . . Yes Forbes. He just turned up.

    Paul: . . . . You may have been bugged. Or someone has you under surveillance.

    Coates: . . . . How dare anyone watch me!

    Paul: . . . . Think Man. Do you remember actioning the paper work for any interception warrants on yourself?

    Coates: . . . . Ah… no.

    Paul: . . . . Are you sure?

    Coates: . . . . I would probably have noticed.

    Paul: . . . . That is even more serious: unauthorised bugging. I may need to launch a separate investigation.

    Coates: . . . . That’s your right under the Inspector-General of the SIS Act, sir. Will you investigate it?

    Paul: . . . . Under the Act, I don’t have to disclose whether I will or I won’t.

    Coates: . . . . Again Sir, that is your right.

    Paul: . . . . Just go through there and take a seat.
    Coates exits.

    Madonna: . . . . If he gets, like, weird just yell and I’ll get the cops.

    Paul: . . . . It’s all right Madonna, he’s a little confused. I’ll need some time to talk to him alone. Please hold any calls and if anyone is looking for me- keep just saying I’m not here.

    Madonna: . . . . Whatever. I have to go out in a bit.

    Paul: . . . . That’s all right Madonna, when you go let me know.

    Madonna: . . . . And, like, no one can see you?

    Paul: . . . . I’m not here unless they ask for Mr Smiley.

    Madonna: . . . . Mr Smiley?

    Paul: . . . . It’s an old nickname.

    Madonna: . . . . Sweet.
    Paul exits.
    Madonna in bad grace gets on with her work. She picks up the hands free phone and calls someone. She talks as she wanders around.

    . . . . Hi. Is Amy there? … Hi. Me here. What ya doing?..... Real? … What’d the scan say? …
    Forbes appears at the window and looks in. Madonna doesn’t see him. As she looks in his direction he pops his head down.
    . . . . … ( flatly) A girl. Oh well. And when will it be born? … Wow so you could have it on your 17th. Choice. … Nah that’s like good – one set of presents and everyone will, like, remember. … Can they, like, tell you yet who the father is? … Can’t they, like, do a blood test now? … Nah bored shitless. The new owner, that Neazor guy has funny people come to see him all the time.
    Forbes quietly opens the door and enters trying not to be seen. He is now wearing a suit.
    Madonna is putting clothes in plastic bags/covers on coat hangers onto the clothes rail.

    . . . . Yesterday it was a man who looked like a ferret and smelt like mould. He had this huge briefcase and came on this big pink Ford…. Yeah it was a sort of pink limo with a driver… then there were Maoris with tats, …. Yeah, real mean looking, with a little fat Maori woman, … and then a guy in a suit with a mysterious bulge… NO! Not there you perv… under his arm, like a gun….
    Forbes is behind the counter trying to see into the back room.
    Madonna goes behind the counter and he manages to duck down the front and not be seen.

    Naah the new owner doesn’t look like a drug dealer… he could be, a mister big, although he’s more like a Mr Shrivelled to me.
    . . . . What did you think of Shorty Street last night?
    Forbes has gotten to the front door and opens and closes it and pretends he is a customer coming in.
    Madonna sees him but keeps talking.

    . . . . Yeah that Waverly is just a smug stupid bitch….
    Forbes starts tapping impatiently on the counter.
    . . . . And that Maylee!
    Forbes clears his throat noisily.
    . . . . Nahh it’s just an impatient customer. Later.
    Madonna hangs up the phone.
    . . . . Yeah?

    Forbes: . . . . I need to speak to the manager.

    Madonna: . . . . No.

    Forbes: . . . . It’ll just take a minute.

    Madonna: . . . . It’ll take less than that cos he’s not, like, here.

    Forbes: . . . . Oh.
    Madonna stares at him.
    . . . . You see…. A friend of mine…. Well let’s. No. ( he thinks)

    Madonna: . . . . ( impatiently) What?

    Forbes: . . . . A friend of mine … I was supposed to meet him here.

    Madonna: . . . . Here?

    Forbes: . . . . Yes.

    Madonna: . . . . This isn’t the pub. Wouldn’t McDonalds have been better?

    Forbes: . . . . This is so much friendlier.

    Madonna: . . . . Meet him outside.

    Forbes: . . . . The thing is, I saw him come in here.

    Madonna: . . . . When?

    Forbes: . . . . Just now.
    Madonna looks around.

    Madonna: . . . . Naah.

    Forbes: . . . . I saw him come in, five minutes ago…through that door.
    Madonna just looks at him.
    . . . . He walked in.

    Madonna: . . . . ( leans over counter to him) Is your friend, like, invisible?

    Forbes: . . . . I saw him come in here.

    Madonna: . . . . You’re a fucking weirdo.

    Forbes: . . . . There’s no need to get abusive. He came in.

    Madonna: . . . . Nah.

    Forbes: . . . . He could have slipped past you when you weren’t looking and gone into the back room.

    Madonna: . . . . No he didn’t.

    Forbes: . . . . You could be in great danger. Let me have a look around.

    Madonna: . . . . If I’m in any danger it’s not your imaginary friend I have to watch.

    Forbes: . . . . Now look here…

    Madonna: . . . . This is a drycleaners, not a counselling centre for middle aged psychos and perverts.

    Forbes: . . . . He came ….

    Madonna: . . . . There you go again you sicko. Out!

    (Continuing tomorrow…)

    See for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

    © Scoop Media

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