Yeah, I can't believe I stuck out 3 season at hutt. But as you say, it's right there and easy - back then they also had a semi decent park too. Coronet is the same as hutt, just with less park and black runs are slightly more accessible to everyone.
Turoa at Ruapehu is always open the longest. late June-early/mid November. Hutt just scores the longest in the south island usually.