West New Britain is a province of Papua New Guinea on the islands of New Britain. The provincial capital is Kimbe. The area of the province in 20,387 km² with a population of 264,264 as of the 2011 census. The province's only land border is with East New Britain. There are seven major tribes, the Nakanai, Bakovi, Kove, Unea, Maleu, Kaulong and Arowe, speaking about 25 languages.
People from West New Britain are referred to as "Kombes" in Papua New Guinea, in metonymic reference to the significant Kove (or Kombe) people. The Kove people were reported on by the anthropologist Ann Chowning in National Geographic magazine during the 1960s. Within Papua New Guinea they are noted for their practice of superincision of the penis — circumcision is generally though inaccurately referred to among Papua New Guineans as "the Kombe cut" — but was formerly practiced in other northern coastal regions of New Guinea island and the New Guinea Islands.
The predominant religious affiliation is Roman Catholic, though there is a sizeable Anglican presence at the extreme western tip of the province and Bishop James Ayong, the retired Anglican Primate of Papua New Guinea, is originally from West New Britain.
West New Britain produces palm oil for export with large oil palm plantations on the north coast of the province especially in the Kimbe region. There are logging activities in the interior and on the south coast. The Walindi dive resort near Kimbe is a tourist destination for visitors to Papua New Guinea.
There are two districts in the province. Each district has one or more Local Level Government (LLG) areas. For census purposes, the LLG areas are subdivided into wards and those into census units.
The province was governed by a decentralised provincial administration, headed by a Premier, from 1978 to 1995. Following reforms taking effect that year, the national government reassumed some powers, and the role of Premier was replaced by a position of Governor, to be held by the winner of the province-wide seat in the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea.
The province and each district is represented by a Member of the National Parliament. There is one provincial electorate and each district is an open electorate.