Last season, sweet fuck all - I got maybe 4 days I would actually consider "pow days". At ruapehu I would get pretty similar (except 2011 - holy shit I had powder days for two weeks straight in October, not even exaggerating. October dumped. We used to duck the ropes to west and drop into amphitheater for all the wind loaded snow.)
The good thing about when I worked at Ruapehu was that when there was a big snow, the roads were all closed so decent powder days were just locals until about 11 or 12 before they got the roads cleared and opened and everyone managed to get up and funnel through the two man access lift. (National Park has far less residents than Ohakune so fuck yeah to the extra terrain with less people as well!)
You'll spend longer than that in lines at Turoa if you hit the wrong times. I've seen the line for the Express chair at Whaka's backed up past the get off for the centennial, and definitely waited up to 40 minutes for a chair at Turoa before.
Yeah TC used to be $1800 for a seasons. But people pay for it. Anyone who's anyone in NZ big mountain riding grew up ripping at TC. Personally I think Whakapapa has better freeride, terrain, but you have to earn it a bit more there with the locations and conditions.
It's funny watching the extreme comp though - you can tell the ruapehu riders up there, they are solid in all conditions. Watching some of the pros come in you can see they aren't used to it, even Will Jackways took a while to find his feet on the different snow conditions.
Ruapehu breeds solid riders, for sure.