Group of militia at Rawene, Hokianga, during the Dog Tax War
In May 1898 Hone Toia made it clear that his people would resist paying the dog tax (and other taxes.) He also stated they would march in protest to Rawene with guns. The Government took this response as a serious threat and sent a force of armed soldiers, field guns and steamers to Hokianga under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Newall. The conflict was avoided when Hōne Heke Ngapua MP urged Hōne Tōia and his followers to surrender. Hone Toia was arrested on 6 May along with 15 others. He was sent to Mt Eden Prison for 18 months hard labour.