I've lived in New Zealand all my life and I love the place, wouldn't trade it for anything.
There is no way it can be the next mount hood. The skiing here is awesome, but it's not as consistently awesome as what you get in the states. We get pretty average quality snow, and not that much of it. Also, the vetical lift here isn't that huge because our (skiable) mountains top out at about 2300 metres.
Come down here in your summer though, you will have the dopest time... on and off the snow!