Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today, the Crusaders choose to distance themselves from their namesake, a surprise departure from Spark, and staggering financial losses from online scams and fraud. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

The Catholic cross-emblazoned knights on horses have been scrapped from the Crusaders' pre-match entertainment.

Today, the Canterbury rugby team has announced the Crusaders Horsemen won't feature in the rest of this year's games, including this weekend's match.

It's in response to the Christchurch mosque attacks, as the Crusades is the name given to the religious wars between Christians and Muslims between the 11th and 13th centuries.


The team has engaged Research First to look at two options for their future: keeping the Crusaders name, but changing the imagery of knights on horseback - or scrapping the name in a complete rebrand.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew says it is "apparent" that the symbolism used by the Crusaders is offensive to some.

"One thing that has become very clear in the last two weeks is that there are divided opinions on the best way forward for the brand. We understand and appreciate the passionate feedback that we are receiving on both sides of the conversation, and at this stage we are committed to keeping an open mind until the independent research has been done."

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The other significant news this week relating to the mosque attacks will unfold on Friday when the accused gunman makes his first High Court appearance.

And, media have been barred from filming and photographing the alleged terrorist in court.

The High Court received 12 applications from both New Zealand media and foreign organisations to film, take photographs, or make audio recordings at Friday's hearing.

But Justice Cameron Mander declined the applications, to preserve the integrity of the trial process and ensure a fair trial.


Journalists will, however, be allowed to stay in the courtroom and take notes, and newspapers and broadcasters are still able to use images of the accused which were taken at the District Court hearing.

But those images will remain pixilated after an order by Judge Paul Kellar - which means all photos of the defendant's face must be blurred in any published images.

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In a surprise announcement, the managing director of Spark has today confirmed he's exiting the company.

Simon Moutter will leave the telco on July 1, to be replaced by Jolie Hodson.

There's been no solid reason for his departure other than that old chestnut of wanting to spend quality time with his family.

Moutter's been in the role since August 2012, and while that's a reasonably lengthy tenure, he hadn't given the market any indication he was thinking about leading.

Moutter served as chief operating officer in the Theresa Gattung era before leaving to become chief executive of Auckland Airport.

He returned to Spark in 2012 to take the top job and has been in it every since.

And it's set to be a big loss for the company.

Telecommunications users association chief executive Craig Young says Moutter's leaving behind a great legacy.

Moutter's departure comes as his sports content strategy is still at a key stage, as Spark Sport launches and faces criticism in some quarters that it's over-ambitious.

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Spark shares fell sharply as the market opened, sliding 3.6 per cent to $3.64 in early trading.

Through his tenure, Spark's share price has climbed to $3.77 up from $2.42 when Moutter took over.

The telco is also paying out annual dividends of 25 cents per share, compared to the 16 cents paid in his first year.

Managing director of Salt Funds Matt Goodson says the news was a slight surprise, but not a shock.

He says Moutter had done well playing the cards he was dealt, as seen by the share price performance.

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The focus now turns to his successor, Jolie Hodson.

Hodson was named Deloitte CFO of the Year in 2016.

The same year, she told the Herald she wanted to break through the glass ceiling and become CEO one day, something today, she says feels great to have achieved.

Hodson's appointment to the Spark leadership role will make her one of only four women to be running one of the top 50 corporate entities in New Zealand.

The other women lead A2 Milk, Hallenstein-Glasson and Chorus.

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Stocks research house Fat Prophets changed its buy recommendation on Spark New Zealand to sell after news that Simon Moutter is stepping down.

Head of research at Fat Prophets Greg Smith says the news came as a surprise, and seems to be strange timing-wise in their view, given the host of new management activities which still have time to run, or have only just been launched.

Smith says they harbour some concerns that a layer of risk has now been added by a change at the top.

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Online scams and fraud have been around for a while, but why are so many New Zealanders falling for them?

The latest figures out today from online safety organisation Netsafe, show Kiwis lost $33 million dollars to online scams and fraud last year, triple the amount stolen in 2017.

And it seems to be a case of scammers getting more sophisticated and going to greater lengths to deceive, rather than New Zealanders being naive.

Some scams involve personalised information typically stolen or gained through a security breach.

Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker says one of the problems is that people often only seek information, after they've lost money.

He says the staggering number of reports and financial losses show that a new approach to protecting New Zealanders is needed.

Netsafe's guide to scam spotting says to be wary of being contacted by phone or email out of the blue, being told there is a problem with your device or internet connections, and being asked for the passwords to your online accounts.

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That's the Front Page for today, Wednesday 3 April, making sure you're across the biggest news of the day. For more on these stories, check out The New Zealand Herald, or tune in to Newstalk ZB.

You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple podcasts here, iHeartRadio here, and Spotify here.

If you like to stay up to date on social media, you can find host Juliette Sivertsen on Twitter.