Newly appointed Fonterra chairman John Monaghan paid tribute to his predecessor John Wilson on today's show.

Monaghan told The Country's Jamie Mackay Wilson had "made a huge contribution to Fonterra and the dairy industry for over 20 years," and also had praise for his family.

"It's not just John. It's John and his wife Belinda and family. You do these jobs and Fonterra comes into your life and I just think of the numerous occasions where Belinda and John have hosted people on their farm and in their house on behalf of Fonterra. It's a huge contribution that largely goes unnoticed but it's seven days a week."

Last week on The Country, business commentator Rod Oram had harsh criticism regarding Monaghan's ability to take over from his predecessors Sir Henry van der Heyden and John Wilson. Oram suggested Monaghan's reputation was that of a "loyal but limited follower" in van der Heyden and Wilson's footsteps.

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Read more: Rod Oram - Monaghan a 'loyal but limited' choice for Fonterra

"You need to judge me on what I deliver over time, [rather] than around others who may deliver opinions," says Monaghan who insists he has always been his own man and will "bring a different style to this role."

Fonterra is looking for a new CEO and Mackay suggests the co-op's farmers will be keen to have a New Zealander in the role.

Listen below:

"A CEO is pivotal to this business," says Monaghan, "we've been through an extensive external search, we've had very strong internal candidates ... and we're still deliberating and so I'm not about to announce who that person or nationality might be."

Also in today's interview: Monaghan discusses the current state of the Co-op including its lowly performance ranking compared to the likes of Danone and Nestle (albeit using 2016 figures) and the prospects for tonight's crucial GDT auction.