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Watching The Buggers (Part 11 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 11 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.

Characters:

  • 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.
    Forbes, apparently working on behalf of the SIS Director and and the waiter who appears to be Justice Paul Neazor, the SIS Inspector-General and owner of the Levin Drycleaners, are locked in an argument over jurisdiction.

    There is no sign yet in Levin of the DoC worker Jane who took a strong liking to Coates in the Masterton train shelter.

    ***********

    They resume as if nothing happened.

    Coates: . . . . I didn’t hear the question.

    Paul: . . . . Excellent. The witness is excused.
    Coates stands up.

    Forbes: . . . . But I ….
    Coates stands where Forbes was.

    Coates: . . . . I call George Forbes.

    Forbes: . . . . Who?

    Paul: . . . . George Forbes!

    Coates: . . . . You.

    Forbes: . . . . Oh yes.
    Forbes sits in witness chair.

    Coates: . . . . Are you… who are you?

    Paul: . . . . Yes who are you?

    Forbes: . . . . You said it before.

    Paul: . . . . Who?

    Forbes: . . . . Forbes, George Forbes.

    Coates: . . . . You’re not.

    Forbes: . . . . Ah.

    Paul: . . . . Who are you?

    Forbes: . . . . Joseph Ward.

    Coates: . . . . I see is that Sir Joseph Ward?

    Paul: . . . . ( checking some papers) No. He doesn’t work for the SIS or any other agency and …. ( checking book) He died in 1930.

    Coates: . . . . Try again.

    Forbes: . . . . William Massey.

    Paul: . . . . Died 1925.

    Coates: . . . . We’re going backwards… Can we take it there are no New Zealand Prime Ministers working at the SIS?

    Paul: . . . . The list includes a Helen Clark.

    Coates: . . . . She’s the current Minister in charge.

    Forbes: . . . . Call me Richard.

    Coates: . . . . Seddon I spose?

    Paul: . . . . Richard? ( his manner changes abruptly)

    Forbes: . . . . Yes Richard. Can I get up now.

    Paul: . . . . Ah. Richard sorry about this, can you tell me if any warrants were executed on leaders of the Maori Party.

    Forbes: . . . . Yes I can.

    Coates: . . . . What? Well what’s the answer?

    Paul: . . . . This is my investigation.

    Coates: . . . . Sorry.

    Paul: . . . . Well, what’s the answer?

    Forbes: . . . . Well, there’s a question.

    Paul: . . . . And Mr Woods I’m asking for an answer.

    Coates: . . . . Mr Woods, Richard…. Oh No. (he bows) Sir I had no idea it was you.

    Paul: . . . . You may be the head of the SIS but I would like an answer.

    Forbes: . . . . We have an impasse. You didn’t tell me you were summoning my staff for this investigation, which you are required to do.

    Paul: . . . . Ah. But will you tell me the answer?

    Forbes: . . . . Under the Act, your Act, Clause 15, I can’t: requirements of security.

    Paul: . . . . Yes of course.

    Coates: . . . . What does this mean?

    Forbes: . . . . In carrying out the functions under the Act the Inspector-General shall have regard to the requirements of security.

    Paul: . . . . He’s right. I have powers with regard to issues that I may properly have regard to.

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Forbes: . . . . Security.

    Paul: . . . . I have power of entry into the agency. I have been asked to investigate bugging of Maori Party leaders. I can summon who I like, but I have to take into account security. What are we going to do.

    Forbes: . . . . The real issue is, of course, what you put into you report.

    Paul: . . . . Ah the report.

    Coates: . . . . Sorry?

    Forbes: . . . . The Inspector-General has to write a report with conclusions and recommendations and forward it to the PM and to me. The course of the investigation, who was interviewed and what you find, never has to be made public.

    Paul: . . . . I see.

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Forbes: . . . . You can conclude that the issue is not an issue.

    Coates: . . . . A cover up! You can’t.

    Paul: . . . . Now Mr Coates.

    Coates: . . . . We can’t have a cover up.

    Forbes: . . . . Justice Neazor… you said before there are no Prime Ministers working for the Service.

    Paul: . . . . Apart from Helen Clark.

    Coates: . . . . Who oversees, but doesn’t work for the SIS.

    Paul: . . . . Where have you been Mr Coates?

    Forbes: . . . . So that would include anyone calling themselves Gordon Coates.

    Coates: . . . . I’m the officer who implements the bugging warrants.

    Forbes: . . . . Funnily enough that’s a role divided between several people.

    Paul: . . . . Really?

    Forbes: . . . . Yes it helps ensure security is maintained.

    Paul: . . . . Since there is no Gordon Coates: who are you?
    Coates moves towards the door.
    . . . . You’re not Nicky Hager?

    Coates: . . . . Oh come on. We’re not scared of Nicky Hager?
    Forbes and Paul exchange a nervous glance.
    Forbes grabs Coates and Paul comes over and grabs Coates’ wallet from his jacket.

    (Continuing tomorrow…)

    See http://scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=spooks#watching for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
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