The "Dog Tax Mural" of Rawene

On the side wall of the Rawene 4 square (kind of like a corner shop or small store) is this mural painted in memory of the historic Dog Tax War of 1898. Apparently the annual tax was introduced because many people, especially Maori around the area owned dogs for hunting and they thought it was a type of discrimination against them.
In the 1890s a dog tax was introduced of 2 shillings and sixpence. The Maori people from Kaikohe West through to the harbour were opposed to it including Waima's Hone Toia not only because many used their animals for hunting but because the tax represented the erosion of their chieftainship. Toia said "first they're going to tax dogs, then they're going to tax people". The stand off occurred when an armed Toia with fewer than 20 men marched to Rawene. Although no blood was shed, the government sent a 120 strong force to the town where he was arrested and served time in old Mount Eden prison.

Unfortunately I've been unable to find the artist of this work but it is located near the Rawene Ferry wharf at the bottom of the main street in the Hokianga.


Bill Nicholls said…
Used to have that sort of thing here in that people had to have a dog licience but that has bon by the way now
Valerie said…
Hi Amy, my husband Dallon August painted that mural. We live in Rawene. :)

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