9 Nov 2014
Hackett was born in Pukekohe, growing up on Auckland's North Shore. He attended Westlake Boys High School.
He left school at the age of sixteen to serve an apprenticeship as a carpenter-joiner. During this time he took up snowboarding and skiing.
He moved to Perth where he sold encyclopaedias for four months, later returning to New Zealand to set up a construction business.
Inspired by the Vanuatu ritual called land diving, Hackett and fellow adventurer Chris Sigglekow, sought ways to make bungy jumping safe. Using a mathematical formula developed by New Zealand's Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, he created a super-stretchy elastic bungy cord in the mid-1980s.
He is currently working on “Skypark” in Sochi, a Russian adventure park that will include a multitude of activities including the world’s longest suspended public walkway.