Under a Single Transferable Vote electoral system, voters rank candidates in their order of preference. Under STV, you would write “1” next to the name of your favourite candidate, “2” next to your second favourite candidate and so on.
STV means that you have one vote, but can indicate your preferences for as many candidates as you like, and your vote can be transferred if your most preferred candidate is so popular they don't need all their votes or is not popular at all with other voters. Under FPP, you would place one tick so if your favourite candidate did not make the cut your vote would be wasted.
How many votes are needed to be elected?
The key to understanding how a candidate is elected to council under STV, is knowledge of what is called the “quota” of votes for election.
It’s assumed that for Te Pūao Māori Ward, the quota is one third of the votes cast; and for Te Hirawanui General Ward, one-fourteenth of the votes cast. (The actual quotas to be used will be calculated after the close of voting and valid votes are tallied.)
This could be as little as 800 votes needed to get into Te Pūao Māori Ward and 2000 to get into Te Hirawanui General Ward.
More information about Single Transferable Vote.