A woman shot 78 times at close range with a paintball gun in a bar competition suffered a suspected broken hand, severe bruising and large welts.

Lizzie Himiona, 22, was still feeling dazed and in pain on Saturday afternoon after taking part in the Fear Factor paintball challenge the previous night at Nelson's Taylors Bar and Night Club.

Police investigating the incident have spoken to bar staff and viewed security camera footage of the incident, but said they were still deciding whether to lay charges.

Miss Himiona, who came third in the competition, was taken by St John Ambulance to Nelson Hospital a short time after the incident and treated for a hand injury, skin loss and serious bruising and swelling.

A dancer at Visions Revue Bar who will be unable to work for several weeks, Miss Himiona said she had already been drinking when she entered Taylors Bar just after 10pm on Friday.

She said she was approached by bar staff shortly after arriving and invited to take part in the competition. She agreed and was asked to sign a waiver of legal responsibility.

Miss Himiona said she took part in two initial challenges and was then given a helmet with a visor and an army-style jacket to wear before stepping on to a stage. Two bar employees began firing at her torso and arms with paintball guns, from three or four metres away.

"I actually went into shock as soon as the first three hit me and I just couldn't move," she said. "I just can't remember much after that, they were coming really fast. All I know is they stopped firing and they said '78 hits'."

Miss Himiona said the crowd seemed impressed by her efforts until she removed her jacket to reveal large welts on her torso and arms and a rapidly swelling wrist. A woman applied ice to her injuries while the next competitors took the stage.

She left the bar just before midnight and returned to Visions where a worried staff member alerted police and called for an ambulance. Taylors Bar management did not respond to requests for comment.

- NZPA