But now he warrants an announcement of his own.
“Basically I’m moving on from my role as general manager,” he says.
He will continue in “more of a consultancy role” to, as the press release says, “drive client initiatives whilst acting as Oktobor’s brand custodian”.
And he’ll be doing it all from Wanaka.
McAteer says it wasn’t a “soft-blow” and he is leaving the company on very good terms. It was an option offered by the management team and he says the invitation to move on was very well structured.
McAteer spent six years with the company and has forged a host of international relationships (70 per cent of Oktobor’s business, he says, is international), so he will still be on hand to offer his expertise when required.
“There’s a lot of history. Six years I’ve been here. I can make myself available to the wider management team. And my role is to advise on brand strategy . . . I still have a lot of myself invested in the company.”
He’s proud of his achievements with Oktobor (particularly pleasing was being ranked in the top 20 visual effects and post production companies in the world by Motionographer.com). But with a young family and a yearning for a “lifestyle change”, he says the time was right to move on.
“We’ve been through some tough times and we’ve managed to reinvent ourselves. It’s been a fantastic journey. But I still feel I’ve got some value to add . . . I’m not gone, I’m still connected. Peter Hewitt [of Film Construction]does it.”
McAteer and his business partner are set to open a Lone Star restaurant – the 21st in the country and the biggest yet – in Wanaka on December 1st.
He loves Central Otago, has relatives living in Wanaka and he was born and raised in a pub in Fairlie, so he’s fairly sure that his southern “backstory” means he won’t be lambasted by the locals as ‘another one of those bloody Aucklanders’.
And even if he is, nothing placates an aggrieved southerner like a plate of Dixie Chicken.