Kiwi actor and Hollywood star Karl Urban has announced that he and wife Natalie Wihongi will separate.

The split was announced tonight in a statement issued through a public relations agency.

"It is with great regret that we, Karl Urban and Natalie Wihongi, have made the mutual decision to separate," the statement said.

"We are committed to maintaining our family relationship, working together to ensure that our children are affected as little as possible.


"We request that people respect our family's privacy at this time and will be making no further comment."

Urban and Ms Wihongi, who was his makeup artist on TV movie The Privateers, have two sons.

The Wellington-born actor has starred in a handful of blockbusters, including the second and third instalments of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Bourne Supremacy alongside Matt Damon, 2012's Dredd as the title character, and two Star Trek films.

Early in his career he played Shortland Street paramedic Jamie Forrest and starred in Xena: Warrior Princess, alongside Lucy Lawless, and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, alongside Kevin Sorbo.

In January last year, the Herald reported that the family had moved to a $5.25 million home in Herne Bay, Auckland.