Google NZ says it did not act to block the name of the man accused of murdering Grace Millane until its own processes sent a notification about the suppression order - four days after it was handed down.
The search giant has given an undertaking to Justice Minister Andrew Little that it would review those processes after it appeared to break the interim name suppression order by naming the accused.
Little and Attorney-General David Parker met with Caroline Rainsford, director of Google New Zealand, Google NZ's senior manager of public policy Ross Young, and a Google legal team via conference call from California at the Beehive this evening.
Google appeared to break the order by emailing the accused's name to anyone signed up to its "what's trending in New Zealand" email.
The accused had applied for name suppression in Auckland District Court last Monday, and appealed when it was refused - invoking an automatic 20-working-day suppression order.
Young told media after the meeting that Google received a notification about the name suppression on Friday - four days after interim suppression was granted.
Asked why it had taken so long, Young said: "I don't know."
He said Google had a process in place that ensured court orders were properly reviewed, but Google would explore "what is possible in the future".
"We respect New Zealand law and we will respond to court orders when we get them. As you'll appreciate, there are trillions of web pages, dynamic and active, on the internet at the moment."
He added: "My heart goes out to the Millane family and my thoughts are with them."
Young cut short the media interview and walked away, ignoring further questions from media.
Little said he had told Google that its processes were unacceptable, and any publisher is bound by suppression orders "the minute the judge hands it down".
"I've made that point to Google. Their job is to respect that from the moment it's handed down, not till they have some sort of notification.
"They know their systems. They can work out how to prevent that from happening, but in the end I've got to defend the integrity of our system."
He said he was "simply not sympathetic" to Google's difficulty in managing so much internet traffic.
"If they choose to publish in New Zealand, whether it's a server overseas or not ... they've got to respect our laws.
"If they don't, I can look to our domestic laws to see whether they're effective, but if not, I'd have to look to working with other countries to make sure the integrity of not just our justice system, but justice systems anywhere in the world, are going to be properly respected.
"Publishing across borders may be the reality of the world today, but no justice system should be held to ransom."
Little said he would contact Google in the new year for an update.
Last week, Little said that he wanted to make it clear to Google that the integrity of fair trial rights cannot be left to "algorithms and machines".
"This might be the way of the world and modern technology, but the reality is that we cannot surrender the effective administration of justice to algorithms and machines and say, 'Well, that's it, it's all over for fair trial rights.'
"We cannot allow that to happen."
Earlier last week, Little chastised British media for naming the accused, and now a close friend of the Millane family has written to London's major newspapers asking them to refrain from breaking name suppression.
The Government has said it is not currently looking at changing the laws around name suppression, even though the 20-working day suppression order has been criticised as too long.