New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

January 12, 2010

Industrious little spot where dog tax sparked 'war'

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Ngapuhi academic Dr Pat Hohepa calls Rawene home.

It was the centre of one of the last Pakeha/Maori conflicts of the 19th century, ostensibly because of dogs.

In the 1890s, a dog tax of two shillings and sixpence (25c) was introduced. Dr Hohepa said that Maori from Kaikohe west to the harbour, including Waima's Hone Toia, were vehemently opposed to paying it - not only because many used their animals for hunting but because tax represented the erosion of tino rangatiratanga (chieftainship).

"He [Toia] said, 'Firstly they're going to tax dogs and then they're going to tax people.' He saw that connection."

The stand-off occurred in April 1898 when an armed Toia with fewer than 20 men marched on Rawene. Although no blood was shed, the government sent a force 120-strong to the town. Toia was arrested and served time in Mt Eden Prison.

The Dog Tax War will feature when Ngapuhi's Treaty claim is heard this year.

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