Since you are commonwealth, you can get work VISAs/sponsoring to Canada very easily, and end up staying permanently pretty quick. The easiest route is probably to get on with an international (big 4) accounting firm in NZ for a year and then do a transfer here.
I'm a CA, did my articling in Calgary and just recently moved to Vancouver.
- Awesome job market for accountants, oil & gas is boom and bust and is currently on the way back up. There is constant demand for accountants, and getting a CA articling position at a big 4 firm is easy, especially if you have a personality.
- Skiing is good, close and easy drive. Sunshine is 90minutes, Lake Louise just under 2 hours, Kicking Horse and Fernie 3 hour, Revelstoke 4.5ish. Importantly, the roads are easy drives so being a weekend warrior isn't bad (and those places are not usually too crowded)
- Overall city lifestyle is good, has become more metropolitan the last 10 years with the last oil boom, but still falls well short of Vancouver/Montreal
- Job market is much much more competitive than Calgary because everyone in the country (and from elsewhere) wants to live here
- Less Corporate HQs than Calgary (at least by market cap I think), wages are lower but cost of living is higher (e.g. getting a 6 figure salary as a CA in Calgary is pretty easy, in Vancouver it's not a gimmie). Pace of work seems a bit more relaxed than Calgary in terms of expected overtime (I'm at the same Big 4), but again, pay is lower.
- Whistler is under 2 hours away, nuff said. Also North Shore mountanis (Cypress, Grouse, Seymour) are within view of downtown for night skiing/local jaunt. Baker is a day trip. Not that far from the interior for long weekend trips.
- Lifestyle is amazing, I love it here, restaurants, art, culture, music, young vibrant people, active lifestyles, beautiful setting with the water and mountains.
- First year here so I can't comment on how weekend warrior ski status compaes to Calgary.
Can't comment on the other cities as I've only visited them, but San Francisco is probably the only other one I'd consider moving to from here in terms of lifestyle (but it's too far from Tahoe and too expensive). SLC has awesome skiing but I don't think I could live there after being here.