The Dog Tax war is described by some authors as the last gasp of the 19th century wars between the Māori and the Pākehā, the British settlers of New Zealand.
This is not altogether accurate in two respects. It was a very minor affair, certainly not a war. Also there were later, more serious incidents, notably in the Urewera Ranges, that can be attributed to the imposition of Pākehā authority on the Māori.
In the 1890s the Hokianga County Council imposed a tax of 2/6d on each dog in the district. Many people, particularly in the South Hokianga, refused to pay, one of which was Hone Riiwi Toia.
It was the encroachment of British colonial laws over Māori autonomy, that instigated an armed protest, the response to which became known as 'The Dog Tax War'. For more information see NZ History website.