New Zealand police says they warned Google about name suppression for the man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane.

The internet giant last week apologised and suspended its trending email service in New Zealand after Justice Minister Andrew Little accused it of "flipping the bird" at the country by not making changes quickly enough after a suppression breach last year.

A 27-year-old Auckland man has been charged with murdering Millane and, in December, Google sent his name out in a "what's trending in New Zealand" email.

Although Little met with Google's local bosses in December, the apology only came after he followed up last week.


Police have now confirmed they also contacted Google.

"In this matter, police previously made contact with Google around requirements of suppression orders in this country," a spokeswoman said.

"Legal and High Tech Cyber Crime advice continues to be sought with international internet companies such as Google to ensure we can prevent or mitigate these breaches in future high-profile cases."

The accused's name can still be found through some searches, although many links to international news sites have been taken down or cannot be accessed from New Zealand.

According to files on the Lumen Database - which archives complaints about online companies - police have also made attempts to get some links taken down.

Little this week floated the idea of a register for name suppressions that media and companies like Google could access and reiterated that he viewed Google as a publisher.

In the apology letter last week, Google's New Zealand government affairs manager, Ross Young, said fewer than 200 New Zealand subscribers had received the email with the accused's name, and that Google immediately acted to take the person's name out of future Trends Alert emails.

He said the company provided law enforcement agencies with confidential forms to inform it about suppression orders, but this did not happen in the Millane case until four days after the order was handed down.