Morrison was born in the town of Rotorua, in the North Island of New Zealand, the son of Hana (née Stafford) and Laurie Morrison, a musician. He is of Maori, Scottish, and Irish descent. His sister was performer Taini Morrison and his uncle was musician Sir Howard Morrison. His secondary education took place at Wesley College, Auckland and Western Heights High School, Rotorua. Morrison lives in New Zealand, and divides his time filming there and in Australia and the United States. He has an adult son, James, and two young daughters, Te Rauna Morrison and Te Kahu Morrison, from a relationship in the late 1980s with singer Kim Willoughby from the all-girl group When The Cat's Away. Temuera Morrison's partner of seven years Ashlee Howden-Sadlier is 26 years his junior and is of Tuhoe and Ngati Porou descent.