Auckland woman Petula Patey fractured a vertebra during a rough trip on Fullers' high speed Excitor tourist vessel to the Hole in the Rock in January.
Mrs Patey says she was thrown up in the air, and came crashing down on her seat when the skipper of the Excitor drove at speed into two big waves.
She says other passengers were screaming and she had to be lifted on to a rescue craft in excruciating pain, and hasn't been able to work since.
She says the violence of the impact left her with a injury known as a compression wedge, which will be present for the rest of her life.
Maritime New Zealand grounded the Fullers boat last week while it investigates.
In a written statement, Fullers says passenger safety is a top priority and it correctly notified Maritime New Zealand of the incidents.
The company will not comment until further investigations are completed.