The Country's Jamie Mackay always thought Miles Hurrell would be a shoo-in for Fonterra's chief executive position but the man himself says it was never a done deal.

"Far from it. They gave me an opportunity to see what we could do in that six months [as interim CEO] and clearly it's worked. The board have liked what they've seen," said Hurrell.

Fonterra's new chief executive told Mackay he is well aware that he has a big job ahead of him.

"We can't rest on our laurels. We've got a lot of work to do as an organisation. You only have to look at the earnings and guidance change we put out last week to suggest that we're not in a perfect position right now."

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Hurrell dismissed Mackay's question of how he will "survive" on a base salary of $1.95 million, after Fonterra's previous chief executive Theo Spierings took home $8 million in the 2017 financial year.

"I love the fact that it's such a hot topic for the media in particular," said Hurrell.

"Most people just realise that I've been given this opportunity and I'm going to focus on what I need to do, and if you guys want to have a look at what that all means in terms of dollars, good luck to you."

Also in today's interview: Hurrell takes a look at the latest positive GDT result and discusses Fonterra's 18.8 per cent in holding in China's Beingmate.