Driving forces are defined broadly as the socioeconomic activities that put pressures on the environment. In New Zealand, key findings suggest that population growth and tourism numbers may be placing pressures on the environment.
The size of the New Zealand population has more than doubled over the past 50 years, to over 4 million people in 2006.
Some territorial authorities have seen a population increase of more than 20% over the past 10 years (notably a 60.7% increase in the Queenstown-Lakes District).
There have been ever-increasing numbers of people arriving in New Zealand over the past 20 years: there were over 4.5 million passenger arrivals to New Zealand in 2008, including approximately 2.5 million short-term overseas visitors (staying less than 12 months).