A New Zealander who survived an Israeli attack on a Turkish aid ship trying to reach Gaza in May is preparing to make another attempt to get into the territory.

Nicci Enchmarch, 47, arrived in Ashburton this week for a two-week visit to her parents before planning to head back to Gaza, four months after she was captured by Israeli troops on the vessel Mavi Marmara. Nine Turkish citizens died in the attack on May 31.

"I thought I needed to redeem myself with my parents after the Mavi Marmara. I think that put them through a bit of anguish," Ms Enchmarch said. She was handcuffed and held, first on the ship and then in an Israeli jail, before being deported to Turkey on June 2.

A professional project manager who lived in London for 13 years, Ms Enchmarch is London-based Viva Palestina's project co-ordinator for the largest land aid convoy yet mounted to Gaza - 500 trucks that will leave Britain, Morocco and Qatar next month to attempt a crossing from Egypt into Gaza in October. A flotilla of ships is also planned to arrive off the coast of Gaza.

"After the Mavi Marmara, we were planning to work on the land convoy, so I have taken these months off work to focus on the convoy. I will also be taking part," she said. She is continuing to organise the convoy by phone and email.

"Viva Palestina is spread out in the UK and I also do a fair amount of travel. I've just done a lot in Lebanon, the Middle East and Turkey. It's still 24/7." She will visit Auckland this coming week to meet the six-person "Kia Ora Gaza" Kiwi contingent who will join the convoy from London.

Ms Enchmarch grew up in Auckland and Christchurch, attending Northcote and Burnside Colleges. She credits British actress Vanessa Redgrave with arousing her interest in Palestine.

"I grew up being very pro-Israel, but I remember seeing Vanessa Redgrave in the 80s receiving an award for the film Playing for Time. When she accepted it, she made a speech about the situation in Palestine," she said.

"I thought that was quite a remarkable thing for someone to do and, from that point on, I thought I should understand a bit more about the Palestinians."

Unlike Kia Ora Gaza activist Roger Fowler, Ms Enchmarch said she saw the situation in Gaza "from a humanitarian/human rights perspective", rather than a political one.

When she took part in Viva Palestina's third aid convoy to the area last December, she saw the reality on the ground when the convoy succeeded in entering Gaza from Egypt.

"There were rows and rows of people. They were standing out there at all hours of the night greeting the convoy. We had more than 200 vehicles," she said.

"Even more than the aid, they were so pleased to see people come in and show solidarity with them."

She said Gaza's 1.5 million people were effectively held in "an open prison", unable to travel or trade. Even paper was often banned.

"Kids at school have to share their exercise books. They do an exercise, rub it out and pass the book over to another student to do the exercise too," she said.

Next month's convoy aims to take in educational and medical supplies, baby formula, agricultural and fishing equipment, building materials to repair buildings destroyed by fighting, and the convoy's 500 vehicles.